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Book Review (+Giveaway!): The Governess of Penwythe Hall

18 Apr

About The Book

Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Author: Sarah Ladd

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 16, 2019

In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About The Author

SONY DSC

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

 

 

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:

  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s.
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

 

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2016/may/19/everyday-life-in-cornwall-captured-in-the-19th-century-in-pictures

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/cornish_nation_01.shtml

https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/Cornwall.html

http://www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk/cornish-fishing/history-of-the-cornish-fishing-industry.php

 

My Impressions:

I was immediately swept up in Sarah E. Ladd’s latest Regency-era romance, The Governess of Penwythe Hall. Ladd has long been a favorite of mine with her beautifully written tales of love and intrigue set in England of the early 1800s, but I think this book has got to be my all-time favorite. Why? I loved the caring young governess who fights fear to protect those she loves. Cordelia Delia Greythorne has lost so much, yet remains steadfast in her faith and loyal to her young charges. She is more than just a governess to the five Twethewey orphans. I also loved hunky hero, Jac Twethewey! He opens his home and his heart in ways that made him a true savior of his nieces and nephews. The wild Cornish coast and its environs as described by Ladd captured my imagination. The sea breezes and crashing waves, and the secretive smuggling that set it apart were vividly portrayed. The setting and storyline could have been enough for a good historical romance, but Ladd adds a faith thread that is relevant to modern readers. The destructive nature of fear and the triumph of faith are explored in The Governess of Penwythe Hall. One minor character had a great impact on main character Delia (and this reader) when she stated Faith is why I don’t fear tomorrow or the next day. I read that line at just the right time. Isn’t it cool how that works out! God’s sovereignty in the midst of the unknown was also a strong theme in the novel. The novel was very fast-paced, and at the end I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough as the main characters faced danger with stalwart hearts.

For adventure, intrigue, history, and, of course, romance, The Governess of Penwythe Hall cannot be beat! Add a timely and timeless inspirational message, and this novel is a real winner!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, April 11

LifeofLiterature, April 11

Moments, April 11

Genesis 5020, April 11

Maureen’s Musings, April 12

The Power of Words, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

To Everything A Season, April 12

KarenSueHadley, April 13

EmpowerMoms, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 13

Inklings and notions, April 13

The Avid Reader, April 14

Blogging With Carol, April 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 14

Rachel’s Back Talk, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Kat’s Corner Books, April 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 16

Daysong Reflections, April 16

The Becca Files, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Blossoms and Blessings, April 17

Remembrancy, April 17

Worthy2Read, April 18

By The Book, April 18

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

Just the Write Escape, April 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 20

For HIm and My Family, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Inspiration Clothesline, April 21

Pause for Tales, April 21

Through the Fire Blogs, April 22

Bigreadersite, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 22

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 22

Inspired by fiction, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Hallie Reads, April 23

Henry Happens, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe Hall!!

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/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review (+Giveaway!): Convergence

28 Mar

Convergence FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Convergence

Author: Ginny L Yttrup

Genre: Christian thriller/suspense

Release Date: March, 2019

ConvergenceA psychologist paralyzed by fear.

A mother propelled by love.

A stalker bent on destruction.

Psychology professor Dr. Denilyn Rossi contends that the past is either a shadow that haunts us or a force that propels us. The choice is ours, she tells her students. What she doesn’t tell them is that her own past is a shadow she can’t seem to shake. Fear has immobilized her and is taking a costly toll.

Adelia Sanchez, however, has embraced Dr. Rossi’s teaching. She is ready to confront fear and render it powerless—using the trauma of her past to propel her to entrap the man who stalked and brutally attacked her.

As Denilyn’s past and Adelia’s present converge at the Kaweah River, a dangerous man bent on destruction threatens them both. Will he uncover the secret Deni and Adelia have fought so hard to protect?

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About the Author

Ginny YttrupGinny Yttrup is the award-winning author of Words, Lost and Found, Invisible, and Flames. She writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny’s work “as inspiring as it is entertaining.” When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry (etsy.com/shop/StoriedJewelry). She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult sons, or spending a day in her pajamas reading a great novel. Ginny lives in northern California with Bear, her entitled Pomeranian. To learn more about Ginny and her work, visit ginnyyttrup.com.

 

More About Convergence

A psychologist paralyzed by fear.

A mother propelled by love.

A stalker bent on destruction.

Dr. Denilyn Rossi’s past is a shadow that haunts her. Adelia Sanchez’s past is a force that propels her. When Denilyn’s past and Adelia’s present converge at the Kaweah River, a dangerous man bent on destruction threatens them both. Will he uncover the secret Deni and Adelia have fought so hard to protect? Find out in Convergence by Ginny L. Yttrup.

 

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Convergence:

She straightens, squares her shoulders, and takes a deep breath as she climbs aboard the plane. There are no seats, the other divers are piled close to one another on the floor. Mike points to an open space near him. She lowers herself, sits, pulls her knees to her chest, and then looks out the oval window next to her.

That’s when she sees him.

Her breath catches. She leans in, cups her hands on the glass to cut the glare, and peers out.

It can’t be. . . . Mouth dry, she tries to swallow. She looks away.

Her heart batters her chest and her pulse roars in her ears, nearly drowning out the clamor of the plane’s propeller. It isn’t him. You’re imagining things, she tells herself. She inhales then exhales. She takes another look then stares at the man near the hangar. He pulls some­thing from his shirt pocket, sticks it in his mouth. A cigarette? She watches as he lights it. It isn’t him. He doesn’t smoke. Anyway, it’s impossible. She knows where he is, and it isn’t here.

He’s seen her staring at him through the window of the plane. He takes a drag, flicks ash to the ground, and smiles. But his eyes behind the sunglasses are cold. Hard.

She steadies herself as the plane shoots down the runway then lifts. As memories flash, perspiration trickles down her back. She inhales again, deeper this time. It wasn’t him. Let it go, she admon­ishes, then shakes her head.

Fear will not win. Not this time. Not ever again.

Within what feels to her like mere moments, the group of profes­sional skydivers have all jumped, and she stands, back pressed against Mike, hooked to his harness. They brace themselves against the pum­meling force of wind as they wait near the gaping opening in the side of the plane. She pulls goggles from the top of her head down over her eyes.

There’s no room in her mind now for thoughts of the man on the ground, or of the man who haunts her memories. There’s no room for thoughts of any kind. Terror, as she well knows, is all-consuming. Her breaths are shallow, her pulse races.

“Step to the edge,” Mike yells. When she doesn’t move, he yells again, this time his breath hot against her ear. She hesitates then steps forward, him stepping in sync with her. There’s nothing to see but the vast expanse.

“Go!” Mike shouts.

Heart hammering her rib cage, she leans forward, eyes squeezed shut, and falls more than jumps into nothingness, arms stretched wide. She anticipates the sensation of falling—stomach lifting to throat—but it isn’t evident as she’d expected. Nor is the velocity at which she knows they’re falling. She dares to open her eyes, only aware of the force of air pushing her cheeks back to her ears, which makes her laugh.

The free fall is like nothing she’s experienced. She laughs again, the sound carried heavenward on the drafts, she imagines. Too soon she’s jerked, hard, the harness cutting into her thighs, and pulled upward with what seems like exceeding force. She hadn’t expected the force.

But then they’re floating. Soaring. “Oh,” she whispers. She wants to take it all in, remember every exhilarating moment. These currents she could ride forever. Tension is replaced by peace, pervasive peace.

Quietude. Silence. Wonder.

“That was a hard pull.” Mike’s shouted words behind her threaten to break the spell, but she’s enchanted and pays little attention. She assumes the pull—the parachute opening and catching air—was harder than usual but fine. They’re fine. She doesn’t understand. Doesn’t know what’s to come. How could she?

As they float, her eyes are trained on the ground below. The earth is a patchwork of tones. She sees the river, a thread, stitched across the quilt of colors. She searches for familiar landmarks as her sense of confidence soars. She’s done it. Faced fear, terror even, and—

Suddenly they’re plummeting.

Tumbling.

Head first. Arms and legs akimbo.

Land and sky spin as they interchange. Her lungs deflate. Pres­sure. The currents, tumultuous, pull her under and then spit her out. She can’t breathe. Why can’t she breathe? She gasps. She’s drowning. Help! Someone, help! But no. . . There’s no water. Instead, she’s above, where there’s nothing. Just. . .

Nothing.

Nothing to reach for. Nothing to grab. Nothing to save her.

A scream sounds in her mind. Rings in her ears. Scathes her throat.

Her scream?

Awareness hits. She’s going to die. It’s her only thought. There are no thoughts of those she loves. Those who love her. Memories don’t flash. No, just the one thought. The only thought she has time for.

She is going to die.

Then. . .

Everything goes black.

 

My Impressions:

Convergence is a departure of sorts for Ginny Yttrup. While the suspense genre is new for her, fans of her excellent writing will soon find that Yttrup doesn’t skimp when it comes to the character development and meticulous plotting that she is known for. What you get with this novel is an amped-up, well-crafted novel. I was drawn in from the first page, tossed about with the twists and turns, and left with a very satisfied, catch-my-breath ending. Convergence earns a recommended rating.

The structure of Convergence is unique. Two story lines, both set at differing times, march along until they converge. The first person accounts by Denilyn Rossi and Adelia Sanchez are very strong and give the reader a good look at the emotions, fears, and determination of the two women. Denilyn’s story is fleshed out by recollections from the past. Denilyn, a psychologist with an expertise in bullying, has been the victim of stalking. Her past experiences color her world, and when she again feels threatened she is determined not to ignore her instincts. The facts of the book are revealed slowly through the two women’s accounts which increases the suspense for the characters and the reader. This reader was surprised over and over. The cat-and-mouse between the women and the unknown assailant is very effective in keeping the pages turning. Fear is a prime motivator for Denilyn and Adelia, and their attempts to control their circumstances often leave them with a feeling that security is only a facade. I liked how the author shows that surrender to God is the only way to truly alleviate fear.

If you are looking for an unpredictable suspense novel, then Convergence is a good choice. With its strong female characters, unique framework, and twisting plot, it leaves me eager for more of the same from Yttrup.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

By The Book, March 28

Simple Harvest Reads, March 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Multifarious, March 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 29

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, March 30

Remembrancy, March 30

Inspired by fiction, March 31

To Everything A Season, March 31

Blogging With Carol, April 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 1

For Him and My Family, April 2

Book by Book, April 2

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 3

janicesbookreviews, April 3

Spoken from the Heart, April 4

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

Seasons of Opportunities, April 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 6

Pause for Tales, April 6

Splashes of Joy, April 7

A Reader’s Brain, April 7

Bigreadersite, April 8

The Lit Addict, April 8

Through the Fire Blogs, April 9

Inklings and notions, April 9

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 10

The Becca Files, April 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ginny is away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Convergence!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dd7b/convergence-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Sleuth’s Dilemma Blog Blitz! (+Giveaway!)

26 Mar

The Sleuth's Dilemma blog blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz and Giveaway for The Sleuth’s Dilemma by Kimberly Rose Johnson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

the sleuth's dilemmaTitle: The Sleuth’s Dilemma
Series: The Librarian Sleuth #2
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: February 1, 2019

Anna loves her job as a high school English teacher until everything goes sideways. The one bright spot in her life is Titus Gains, the school counselor, who is there for her at every turn.

Titus’ boss complicates his ordered world when she tasks him with running a meeting that changes everything. How had he not noticed Anna earlier? Someone is out to destroy her, and he can’t let that happen.

As the head of the English department, part of Luke Harms’ job is to make sure everything runs smoothly. Things went haywire when Anna was put in charge of the big writing contest. Entries are missing, Anna appears to be in danger, and her job is on the line. Luke is investigating and wants to make things right for this woman he’s starting to care about.

Can a trio of school officials along with Nancy Daley, the town sleuth, stop the saboteur before it’s too late? And will Anna choose the right man, or lose them both?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Rose Johnson

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub


the sleuth's dilemma giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win:

  • $15 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 26, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm April 2, 2019. Open internationally as long as winner can accept gift card from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Book Review (+Giveaway!): Becoming Mrs. Lewis

12 Mar

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Welcome to the Blog Tour for Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan with JustRead Publicity Tours! We continue the Becoming Mrs. Lewis celebration on social media starting March 14.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Becoming Mrs. LewisTitle: Becoming Mrs. Lewis
Author: Patti Callahan
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 2, 2018

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.”

When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Christian Book | iTunes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

callahanp

Patti Callahan (who also writes as Patti Callahan Henry) is a New York Times bestselling author. Patti was a finalist in the Townsend Prize for Fiction, has been an Indie Next Pick, twice an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year. Her work has also been included in short story collections, anthologies, magazines, and blogs. Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina, with her husband.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MY IMPRESSIONS:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is billed as historical fiction, as it details the life of Joy Davidman and her relationship with C.S. Lewis. It is indeed historical in nature, how could it not be, but I would describe it as biographical fiction, since it is told in the first person voice of Joy Davidman. While this was very effective in relating to her character, I had to remind myself over and over that this book is fiction. The emotions portrayed and the scenes depicted are so realistic, that the book can easily be believed as coming directly from Davidman’s own private journals. Yet as the author states in the Afterword, no correspondence between Davidman and Lewis exists. Callahan did a commendable job in distilling the articles and books written about the pair, as well as transcripts of others’ recollections and letters, and speeches given by the two. She uses the published works of both Davidman and Lewis to piece together what their life looked like. And this intimate novel does just that.

The story that emerges is a fascinating journey of faith and love. Davidman’s relationship with Lewis is at the forefront, but the most moving scenes of this book are her encounters with God. Her life was messy and sorrow-filled, yet touched with the grace of God. But if you are fan of traditional Christian fiction, you may be surprised or even offended by Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I was not. Too often the christian life is viewed as a one time salvation experience that instantly changes one from sinful to holy. And yes, when saved by Jesus, we take on His righteousness — His being the operative word. Unfortunately for most, if not all of us, we struggle with the same old sin nature, the desires of our flesh, and the influence of our world and experiences. Joy wrestled with that, for which I am thankful to the author. Here was a woman who was influential in Christian circles in her own right, but also was a large influence on the later writings of Lewis. But she continued to be flawed and falling, yet ever loved by God. That is how I would describe Joy Davidman, and how I would describe myself.

There is a lot of drinking in the book — some casual/social and some to excess and abuse. There is talk of sex and affairs and fleshly desires. And that might not appeal to all readers of CF, but it is a realistic portrayal of a life that strived to live for God. I recommend Becoming Mrs. Lewis wholeheartedly.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the Kindle version of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 


bml blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will each win a hardcover release copy of Becoming Mrs. Lewis.

Be sure to check out each stop on the Blog and Takeover tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule on this tour shown below. Giveaway began at midnight March 12, 2019 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 19, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

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Book Review (+Giveaway!): Daughters of Northern Shores

11 Mar


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Daughters of Northern Shores
(Blackbird Mountain #2)
By Joanne Bischof
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
March 12th 2019 by Thomas Nelson

“The Norgaard brothers and their families will steal your heart.” —Catherine West, author of Where Hope Begins

Heartache and regret, boldness and sacrifice. What will restoration cost the beloved Norgaard family?

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

From Christy Award–winning author Joanne Bischof comes Daughters of Northern Shores: the highly anticipated sequel to her moving novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.

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Other Books in the Series

Sons of Blackbird Mountain
(Blackbird Mountain #1)
By Joanne Bischof
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 339 Pages
July 3rd 2018 by Thomas Nelson

From the bestselling award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart

“Beloved author Joanne Bischof doesn’t disappoint with her latest beautifully written, heartrending tale . . . a quick favorite for historical romance readers.” —Elizabeth Byler Younts, author of The Solace of Water

A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

Praise for Sons of Blackbird Mountain:

“Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a quiet gem of a historical romance. Refreshingly real and honest in its depiction of flawed but lovable individuals, it introduces characters readers will want to meet again.” – CBA Market

“. . . the novel provides an interesting glimpse of the time period and some complex social issues among neighbors in an area still recovering from the Civil War.” – Historical Novels Review

“VERDICT Christy- and Carol Award-winning author Bischof (The Lady and the Lionheart) creates endearing characters and a heartwarming story line in this unforgettable novel about the power of family, love, and the true meaning of home. Fans of Kristy Cambron, Julie Klassen, and Susan Meissner will love this one.” – Library Journal

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About The Author


Picture courtesy of https://joannebischof.com.

Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.

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My Impressions:

Fans of Joanne Bischof’s Sons of Blackbird Mountain will not be disappointed in the return visit to the Norgaard family farm in Daughters of Northern Shores. The first book in the 2-volume series left us with Thor and Aven married, the Sorrel family on the run, and Haakon, the youngest Norgaard brother, hopping a ship to destinations unknown. Don’t worry, there is much, much more of the story left to told, and as always, Bischof does it with beautiful prose that sets the scene and reveals the fears, sorrows, hopes, and dreams of her characters. This book is another winner!

Bischof is an accomplished storyteller. Readers can almost smell and taste the world she creates. They certainly can see the vivid settings of ship and land, especially the Appalachian apple farm worked by the Norgaards. I loved the historical elements that spoke of authenticity and diligent research on the part of the author. Four years have passed between the two books and much has changed, but the author fills in the gaps so naturally that the reader gets caught up with the lives of favorite characters right away. And those characters . . . . I loved Aven and Thor from book 1, but I was immediately drawn to Haakon in Daughters of Northern Shores. His 4 years of travel, hard work, and contemplation do much to develop this prodigal son from selfish young man to one who is ready to ask forgiveness and face the consequences of his actions. Lost trust leads to lost relationships, and this novel highlights how much one person’s actions can affect others. But this is also a story of forgiveness and restoration.

Daughters of Northern Shores is a wonderful conclusion to the series. I was sorry to leave the Norgaards when the final page was turned. Please be aware that you must read this series in order, otherwise you will miss out on the full reading pleasure. I promise you will not be sorry!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Prism Book Tours for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of DAUGHTERS OF NORTHERN SHORES and a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan custom tote bag (book and bag shown are examples, not actual prize)
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Ends March 20, 2019

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Book Review (+Giveaway!): The Seamstress

18 Feb

About the Book

Title: The Seamstress

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.

This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”

Now, years later, I have.

While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.

So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.

My Impressions:

Inspired by a minor character in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, The Seamstress by Allison Pittman could be described as a tale of two cousins — orphans raised by a guardian in the tumultuous times leading up to and including the French Revolution. Pittman takes on the daunting task of creating an entire story for not only the seamstress that Sydney Carton encounters, but also for the cousin left behind in the country and produces a story that will captivate your heart and mind. Renee and Laurette, who have shared so much in their young lives, embark on very different journeys in search of purpose in the dark times in which they live. Famine for the poor and excess in the aristocrats are on a collision course that leads to violence. Such is the time period the book explores; a time of starvation, desperation, anger, and vengeance. The two cousins come to know first hand the two sides of the conflict — revolutionaries and royalty. And though both are swept into the larger drama around them, they are separate from the forces at work.

The Seamstress is a beautifully written book as complex as the time period in which it is set. Renee’s story is written in first person, while Laurette’s is a third person narrative. Secondary characters greatly influence them and their decisions. Marie Antoinette plays a large part in Renee’s life, and I appreciate the care Pittman took in fleshing out her character. There are also three important men in the novel who play pivotal roles in Renee and Laurette’s lives. My absolute favorite is Gagnon, the man who takes the two in when they are orphaned. His tender care for them and the freedom he gives the two to choose their paths, is reminiscent of the father of the Prodigal. His unconditional love and forgiveness reflect the father and the Father. Interestingly, the town from which the girls venture forth is called Mouton Blanc (White Sheep) with a church styled the Church of The Lost Sheep. Loss is great during this turbulent time (children, spouses, innocence), but also much is gained. I am still pondering the truths expressed.

The Seamstress is not a quick or easy read. It is a book to take your time with. There are spiritual threads that are subtly woven that a reader will want to take time to think about. I also think this novel would make an excellent choice for a book club. It is definitely one to talk about.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Tyndale and Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9

The Lit Addict, February 9

The Power of Words, February 9

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 10

Lis Loves Reading, February 10

Maureen’s Musings, February 10

Carpe Diem, February 11

A Baker’s Perspective, February 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12

Emily Yager, February 12

Mary Hake, February 12

Stories By Gina, February 13

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 13

Inspired by fiction, February 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Remembrancy, February 14

Through the Fire Blogs, February 15

Seasonsofopportunities, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Books, Books, and More Books, February 16

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 18

By The Book, February 18

Multifarious, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19

Pause for Tales, February 19

Bigreadersite, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 20

Janices book reviews, February 20

For the Love of Books, February 21

Book by Book, February 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 22

To Everything A Season, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!

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/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Giveaway! American Omens

6 Feb

The folks at Waterbrook Multnomah have sent me not just one, but two copies of American Omens by Travis Thrasher! That means I am giving away this thriller to one lucky reader. To enter, just leave me a comment. The giveaway runs through March 6. (US only) Good luck!

In this taut thriller that depicts a future where belief is dangerous, faith is deemed hatred, and a group of powerful elite keeps watch, the Reckoner has come to wake up America.

The year is 2038 and Cheyenne Burne is a brilliant young programmer working for Acatour, the world’s top technology firm. Her father converts to Christianity, and he suddenly disappears without a trace. When a stranger hands Cheyenne a coded message that sends her on a collision course with a clandestine group of believers, she must put her life in the hands of those following a man known only as the Reckoner. He claims he wants to bring back true faith in Christ to America and also reveal the forces behind the disappearances of the many renowned people who publicly declared their Christian faith.

Operating in the shadows and living off the grid, this mysterious prophet assembles a ragtag team–including a former bookseller whose store was shut down for selling prohibited books–to help him take the battle for transparency to the top. With a ruthless FBI agent closing in, can Cheyenne and the others expose the truth and lead a return to God in America before it’s too late?

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written more than fifty books and worked in the publishing industry for more than twenty years. He has penned fiction in a variety of genres, and his inspirational stories include collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, and pastors. Travis lives with his wife and three daughters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. http://www.travisthrasher.com.