Tag Archives: Anne Mateer

Book Review (+Tour Giveaway): No Small Storm

12 Feb

About the Book

 

Title: No Small Storm

Author: Anne Matteer

Genre: Historical/Historical Romance

Release Date: August, 2017

 

September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island

Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.

Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.

With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves.

But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen — or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Impressions:

Anne Mateer has created a sweet romance perfect for Valentine’s Day reading, or really anytime you want a love story with endearing characters and an historic setting inspired by true events. With its setting in the early years of the US, it brings to life our fledgling nation and the men and women determined to make a new start in a new country. Fans of historical romance will love this one!

Remembrance Mem Wilkins is on her own, a very decidedly uncommon occurrence for a young lady of the early 1800s. Left the family farm after the death of her father, she is determined to keep her independence without the help of anyone, especially a very intimidating neighbor set upon gaining her property through the conventional means of marriage. But Mem, though already on the road to spinsterhood and with a failed romance in her past, wants nothing but a true love match, one that won’t take her financial circumstance into consideration. Simon Brennan, father and widower newly arrived from Ireland, has not much to recommend him — no money or name — but with a fierce pride that keeps him focused on establishing his own fortune. The two are irresistibly drawn together, but can they overcome the obstacles they alone have set up?

I really liked the main characters (and many of the supporting ones) in No Small Storm. Both Mem and Simon are engaging, and their chemistry is strong — just what a good romance needs. Both have independent natures and strive to achieve their goals on their own. But that independence, mixed with a good dose of pride, keeps them from asking help of others and from God. Circumstances show them that all they have is from God. And that’s all they need. The historical touches in the novel were spot on — dress, manners, customs. But No Small Storm has the added bonus of a real-life event that makes a difference in the town of Providence, Rhode Island and in the lives of the characters. No spoilers here, but I have to say this novel made me thankful for modern weather forecasts. 😉

A quick read, No Small Storm is a good choice for when you need some romance mixed with history.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

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

About the Author

Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.

Guest Post from Anne Mateer

I’m always up for a good historical story. It’s what I enjoy reading. It’s what I enjoy writing. But I find that my pleasure in any historical fiction increases exponentially when the story at hand is based on at least a kernel of historical fact. All four of my full-length novels share this trait. So it stood to reason that when turning my mind to a historical novella I would seek the same grounding in truth I’ve sought before.

So what historical fact inspired No Small Storm? It was a combination of them, actually. Which I think always makes for the best tales!

I like an overarching historical event to help frame a story. Things like war or economic crisis or natural disaster. Situations in the historical record which required courage or resilience or sacrifice from the people who lived through them. When I stumbled upon the Great Gale of 1815, which hit Providence, Rhode Island particularly hard, I knew it could provide obstacles for my characters to overcome.

As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms were commonly called hurricanes—I happened upon some first hand accounts of that day. Fascinating remembrances about a storm arriving without much preamble, then departing and leaving bright sunny skies with which to view the destruction.

And destruction there was! Not only from wind and water, but also the fact that both of those things unleashed the ships moored in the harbor and sent them sailing down the main street of town! Can you imagine looking out of the second or third story window of a building which was likely flooded on the ground floor and seeing a ship coming at you?

That, in itself, was dramatic enough. Especially when coupled with the fact that those ships often broke apart, whether from wind and waves or from contact with the buildings and bridges they encountered on land. Then I considered the in those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.

It was just such a circumstance that brought one man to the window of a young woman. She helped him inside. They were later married. And if finding such a story that isn’t a romance writer’s delight, I don’t know what is!

Finally, as I continued to read about the destruction in the area, I discovered a few lines about area orchards. The hanging fruit was found covered with a dusting of white. When tasted, it was discovered to be salt. Salt from storm surge and sea spray. Salt that saturated, even miles inland. Water and wind—and they salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?

And so No Small Storm was born, with Remembrance and Simon each trying to make a good life for themselves, each trying to trust God as they work hard. Each keeping careful watch over their heart. But sometimes circumstances take things we don’t want to give. And give things we never imagined possible.

Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires. It’s the kind of story I love to read. And the kind of story I’m proud to write.

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Carpe Diem, February 6

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 7

The Power of Words, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 8

Inklings and notions, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Kathleen Denly, February 10

History, Mystery & Faith, February 10

Bukwurmzzz, February 11

Views From the Window Friend, February 11

By The Book, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 12

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 13

Mary Hake, February 13

proud to be an autism mom, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 14

A Greater Yes, February 15

Janices book reviews, February 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 16

A Baker’s Perspective, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 17 (Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy)

Bigreadersite, February 18

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 19

Pursuing Stacie, February 19

 

Giveaway!

 

To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away a grand prize of a reader bag of goodies — including a Pride and Prejudice fleece throw, a “reading” charm necklace from Storied Jewelry, a Secret Garden litograph tote bag, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c604

Advertisements

Book Review: A Home for My Heart

10 Mar

210648Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children and dreams of the day she’ll marry her beau, Blaine. But when the matron surprises everyone by announcing her own engagement, Sadie is suddenly next in line for the job. For a young woman who was once an orphan herself, a shot at such an esteemed position is a wish come true.

But the matron of the Home cannot be married. Is Sadie willing to give up her dreams of a life with Blaine and a family of her own? Is she prepared to forgo daily involvement with the children as she instead manages the financial, legal, and logistical aspects of the orphanage? And when it’s revealed that the Home is spending a lot more money than it’s taking in, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever?

annepicAnne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults.

Twitter @annemateer

My Impressions:

Anne Mateer’s, A Home for My Heart is a sweet historical romance set in the early 1900s in the fictional Raystown Home for Orphans and Friendless Children. Sophie Sillsby was helped by the home years before and wants to extend God’s grace to children just as it had been extended to her. Sadie sees her promotion to Matron of the home as her opportunity to help children as well as validate her own life, one that includes a shadowy past. But Sadie’s quest to be an advocate for helpless children may grow out of her own insecurities rather than God’s plan.

Mateer based A Home for My Heart on the true life Huntingdon Home for Orphans and Friendless Children and the many stories surrounding it. Well-researched, she does a good job of introducing the reader to the early efforts of child welfare. The story is a bit predictable and I was very frustrated with Sadie’s character, but I think that was the desired effect. Sadie is determined to be prove she can be an effective and capable Matron, more to win the acclaim of men than to please God. Others in the story have the same problem. The characters use works, man’s approval and self sufficiency to try to attain self-worth, rather than looking to God.

If you like a sweet romance, with a good historical background, then definitely check out A Home for My Heart.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below. 

Book Review: At Every Turn

21 Mar

Mateer_AtEveryTurn_covermock-193x300Caught up in a whirlwind of religious enthusiasm, Alyce Benson impetuously pledges three thousand dollars to mission work in Africa. Now she just has to find a way to get the money.

Alyce harbors a secret passion for speed and automobiles, and she’s spent many an afternoon driving around the rustic track in the field behind her home. When she discovers that her father’s company has sponsored a racing car that will compete in several upcoming events–races in which the driver will be paid and could win as much as five thousand dollars in prize money–she conspires with her father’s mechanic, Webster, to train and compete.

But when her friends cast aspersions on Webster’s past, she realizes she may have trusted the wrong person with her secret. Will Alyce come up with the money in time, or will she have to choose between her hasty promise and the man who holds a piece of her heart?

annepicAnne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults.

Twitter @annemateer

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/authorannemateer

Website http://www.annemateer.com 

My Impressions:

After finishing a book with some heavy subjects, I needed a light, amusing read. At Every Turn by Anne Mateer hit the spot! An historical romance set in middle America in 1916, this novel features a spunky and idealistic heroine, a sweet and compassionate hero and a great perspective on early auto racing. When a missionary couple visits her church, Alyce Benson is determined to fulfill a promise to help bring the gospel to Africa. But faced with having to raise the money herself, she turns to her one talent — driving really fast! The pace is set and Alyce takes off across the Midwest pursuing the dream of a big win in races reserved for men.

Alyce is at times clueless and fearless in her desire to achieve her goal of raising $3000. She is a thoroughly modern woman — bobbed hair, no corset and a talent for driving. Her enthusiasm and naivete are charming. I liked the other characters as well, even loved to hate the villain. The plot is a bit predictable, but the unusual subject matter – early auto racing — really kept my interest. All in all, a recommended read for those who like a little history mixed in with their romance.

Recommended.

(I received At Every Turn from Bethany House in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of this book, click on the image below.