Tag Archives: Beth White

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer TBR

19 Jun

It is definitely summer here in the sunny South. The humidity and temps are up and the bugs are out. But I can’t complain because I have some great summer reading — history, mystery, romance, and suspense all in varying combinations! What about you? What are you reading this summer?

Make sure to check out other bloggers’ summer reading lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books on My Summer Reading List

 

Cold, Cold Heart by Christine Poulson

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

The Death Beat by Fiona Veitch Smith

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Linen God by Jim O’Shea

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Murder at The Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

 

What’s on your Summer TBR?

 

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Top 10 Tuesday — Journeys to A New Life

12 Jun

My husband and I seem to have caught the travel bug. After 33 years of marriage in which we raised 3 kids and grew a business, we are now in the position to do a little traveling. An empty nest and a wonderful staff have made it doable. But our travels are short-lived and, except for the occasional blip, very routine. Not so for those who left everything to travel to a new place and a new life. I cannot imagine the anxiety people had in stepping out into the unknown. Whether by choice, or necessity, or through force, the characters in the following books stepped out in faith in their travels. These books are both historical and contemporary, but all of them share the desire for new beginnings.

For more traveling books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Journeys to A New Life

 

By Boat

Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

The Pelican Bride by Beth White

 

By Train 

The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

 

 

By Wagon

All Together in One Place by Jane Kirkpatrick

The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers

 

On Foot

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

 

Taxis, Buses, Planes, Boats, You Name It!

Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus by Joyce Magnin

The Heart Between Us by Lindsey Harrel

 

Have you ever taken a journey of faith?

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Revolutionary Reading!

4 Jul

The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are taking a well-deserved break until the middle of August. They all have lots on their plates, including new additions to their families. 🙂 So bloggers are on their own creating weekly Top 10 Tuesday memes. In honor of the 4th of July, I’ve decided to share some great books set in the years surrounding the Revolutionary War — 7 novels and 1 non-fiction title, plus 1 that is on my TBR list. Have a great 4th, y’all!

 

 

Top Books to Read for The 4th of July!

Book of Ages: The Life And Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore

From one of our most accomplished and widely admired historians—a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister, Jane, whose obscurity and poverty were matched only by her brother’s fame and wealth but who, like him, was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator.

Making use of an astonishing cache of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and portraits only just discovered, Jill Lepore brings Jane Franklin to life in a way that illuminates not only this one extraordinary woman but an entire world.

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson

An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution. As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she cares only about peace. Her friend Sarah Hammond, however, longs to join the fight. Both women’s families have already been divided by a costly war that sets father against son and neighbor against neighbor; a war that makes it impossible to guess who can be trusted. One snowy night Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall, and her decision to save him will change her life. Nathan introduces her to a secret network of spies, couriers, disguises, and coded messages—a network that may be the Patriots’ only hope for winning the war. When British officers take over Caswell Hall and wreak havoc on neighboring plantations, Lydia will have to choose between loyalty and freedom; between her family’s protection and her own heart’s desires. As both armies gather near Williamsburg for a pivotal battle, both Lydia and Sarah must decide how high a price they are willing to pay to help the men they love.

The Creole Princess by Beth White

All along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. In the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is quieter–though no less deadly. The lovely Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their paths cross and their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie–and somehow keep Lyse’s family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown.

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah’s world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him–and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki

Everyone knows Benedict Arnold — the Revolutionary War general who betrayed America and fled to the British — as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot: a charming young woman who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.

Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.

Washington’s Lady by Nancy Moser

Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the first First Lady of the United States. When a dapper, young George Washington comes into her life, Martha Custis is a young widow with two young children. Their love and loyalty toward each other—and the new nation they fight for, lasts a lifetime and is an inspiration even now, after 250 years. Washington’s Lady was a Christy Awards finalist.

 

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
 
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
 
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both — Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

TBR:

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy — the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins —  during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own.
 
No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love.
 
Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

 

Do you have any suggestions for 4th of July reading?

 

 

Book Review: The Magnolia Duchess

27 Apr

UnknownFiona Lanier is the only woman in the tiny Gulf Coast settlement of Navy Cove. While her shipbuilding family races to fill the demand for American ships brought by the War of 1812, Fiona tries to rescue her brother who was forced into service by the British Navy.

Lieutenant Charlie Kincaid has been undercover for six months, obtaining information vital to the planned British invasion of New Orleans. When a summer storm south of Mobile Bay wrecks his ship and scatters the crew, Charlie suffers a head injury, ultimately collapsing in the arms of a beautiful mermaid who seems eerily familiar. As Charlie’s memory returns in agonizing jags and crashes, he and Fiona discover that falling in love may be as inevitable as the tide. But when political loyalties begin to collide, they’ll each have to decide where their true heart lies.

313204_b8f0fbd6de603d031772f89385f2f7f1-jpg_srz_p_268_398_75_22_0-50_1-20_0-00_jpg_srzAbout Beth White (from her website) — I grew up in the South, specifically North Mississippi, which has a rich tradition of fostering writers, storytellers, and musicians. I’m fond of both music and literature, so I amuse myself by teaching chorus and piano in an inner-city public high school by day, while conducting a secret life as a romance writer by night.

Anyway, I find myself, after more than half the years I’ve been alive, still married to my last college boyfriend. He still makes me laugh, he still gives me the warm fuzzies, and he still checks my tires, so I guess I’ll keep him. We somewhat successfully raised two young adults, who are both married and have begun producing amazing grandchildren. My cup runneth over.

 

My Impressions:

Beth White continues the saga of the Lanier family in her latest offering in the Gulf Coast Chronicles, The Magnolia Duchess. I have enjoyed learning more about this fascinating time and place in our nation’s history. With a mix of cultures, races and nationalities, independent and determined men and women shaped the region from Mobile to New Orleans. With meticulous research, a mix of historical and fictional characters and just the right amount of romance and intrigue, White deftly brings it all together. As delicious as gumbo, White’s books are perfect for those looking for historical romance. Reviews of the first two books in the series — The Pelican Bride and The Creole Princess.

While her family has sought to tame Fiona Lanier, much of their efforts have been in vain. Young Fiona is as spirited as the horses she trains. Charlie Kincaid is a British naval officer with a past, he just can’t remember it. When their paths cross again after years of being apart, sparks fly. But family loyalty and patriotism get in the way of their romance. Both are determined to risk all for love and country.

White’s scene setting is excellent. The reader gets a great sense of the Gulf Coast of 1814, especially Mobile and its environs. The author’s portrayal of the commerce, society and the military presence is spot on. The characters, too, are well-drawn. And while Fiona and Charlie are the focus, supporting characters and their story lines are interesting as well. Three romances flourish in The Magnolia Duchess — fans of the genre rejoice! My favorite part of the book is the dialog — a natural mix of teasing and flirting, but with a dose of serious conversation. There’s never a dull moment with Fiona and Charlie, so if you like a bit of adventure, suspense, and danger, this book will fit the bill. A faith message is naturally woven throughout the novel with characters seeking God’s presence and guidance.

A delightful addition to the series, The Magnolia Duchess is a recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Book Review: The Creole Princess

8 Apr

721985All along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. In the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is quieter–though no less deadly. The lovely Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their paths cross and their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie–and somehow keep Lyse’s family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown.

 

 

313204_b8f0fbd6de603d031772f89385f2f7f1.jpg_srz_p_268_398_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzAbout Beth White (from her website) — I grew up in the South, specifically North Mississippi, which has a rich tradition of fostering writers, storytellers, and musicians. I’m fond of both music and literature, so I amuse myself by teaching chorus and piano in an inner-city public high school by day, while conducting a secret life as a romance writer by night.

Anyway, I find myself, after more than half the years I’ve been alive, still married to my last college boyfriend. He still makes me laugh, he still gives me the warm fuzzies, and he still checks my tires, so I guess I’ll keep him. We somewhat successfully raised two young adults, who are both married and have begun producing amazing grandchildren. My cup runneth over.

Anyone who wants to know more about me should read my books and my blog. I am something of a hermit In Real Life, except in the classroom and on my computer, but I am very much interested in what makes my readers tick. And what ticks them off. And what makes them smile. So please email me here. I promise to answer.

 

My Impressions:

Beth White’s novel, The Creole Princess, is the second book in her generational, historical fiction series, Gulf Coast Chronicles. I have been a fan of her contemporary romances (writing as Elizabeth White) for a while now. I read The Pelican Bride and while I liked and recommended it, it didn’t really have the WOW factor. The Creole Princess does. Meticulous research, wonderful plotting and well-developed characters shine in this novel. If you are a fan of historical romance, pick this one up!

Lyse Lanier is a Creole daughter with a mixed heritage as spicy and rich as the gumbo served in the colonial town of Mobile. Not white, not black, she struggles to find a place in society as well as keep her ever-growing family financially and emotionally afloat. Whispers of rebellion don’t really affect her, until a mysterious dandy, Don Rafael, arrives in town.

I loved the engaging and entertaining characters in The Creole Princess. White does a good job of representing the social and cultural system that bound people during the late 1700s. Slave and freedman, British and French are all in attendance. I cheered for my favorites and booed the villains. The characters act naturally amid the political intrigue of the British West Florida colony depicted in the novel. Liberty and freedom are in the air and the ideals of America are juxtaposed with the system of slavery and strict class distinctions prevalent in that day. You can tell that White did her homework. When I think of the Revolutionary War, I think of Valley Forge and Yorktown, not Mobile, New Orleans and Pensacola. I also didn’t know about the Spanish contribution to America’s freedom. This little known history (at least to me) added depth to the love story between Lyse and Rafa. And that love story is as sweet and indulgent as a beignet!

If you like richly detailed historical fiction with a large dollop of romance, then The Creole Princess is for you.

Highly Recommended. 

Audience: older teens and adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE. 

Book Review: The Pelican Bride

2 May

721973It is 1704 when Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board a French ship headed for the Louisiana colony as mail-order brides. Both have promised to marry one of the rough-and-tumble Canadian men in this New World in order to escape religious persecution in the Old World. Genevieve knows life won’t be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of beheading. But when she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer whose courageous stand for fair treatment of native peoples has made him decidedly unpopular in the young colony, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. And a secret she harbors could mean the undoing of the colony itself.

 

313204_b8f0fbd6de603d031772f89385f2f7f1.jpg_srz_268_398_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzAbout Beth White — I grew up in the South, specifically North Mississippi, which has a rich tradition of fostering writers, storytellers, and musicians. I’m fond of both music and literature, so I amuse myself by teaching chorus and piano in an inner-city public high school by day, while conducting a secret life as a romance writer by night.

Anyway, I find myself, after more than half the years I’ve been alive, still married to my last college boyfriend. He still makes me laugh, he still gives me the warm fuzzies, and he still checks my tires, so I guess I’ll keep him. We somewhat successfully raised two young adults, who are both married and have begun producing amazing grandchildren. My cup runneth over.

Anyone who wants to know more about me should read my books and my blog. I am something of a hermit In Real Life, except in the classroom and on my computer, but I am very much interested in what makes my readers tick. And what ticks them off. And what makes them smile. So please email me here. I promise to answer.

My Impressions:

I have read several contemporary romance novels by Mississippi native Beth White. She always brings a great sense of place to her books, so when I heard she had written an historical novel set in the fledgling Louisiane colony, I knew I had to read it. Filled with rich historical detail, The Pelican Bride is a perfect read for those who love history and romance.

Genevieve Gaillain, along with her sister Aimee and other women from France, is transported upon the Pelican to find a husband among the French soldiers and Canadian craftsmen that have settled into the new Louisiane colony (now Mobile, Alabama). What they encounter definitely does not exceed their expectations. Rough living conditions, even rougher perspective beaus, an unstable political environment and hostile Native peoples combine to create at least a little fear. But their contracts state that they must find husbands, so the courting begins. But Genevieve has secrets that make choosing a husband tricky. Can she trust God to safely lead her in the New France?

Set in 1704, The Pelican Bride was meticulously researched. The peoples and place that was the capital of the French colony in the American South come to life in Beth White’s hands. New-to-me history and an intriguing plot kept me reading. I especially liked the political machinations and the relationship between the French settlers and the Native Americans. There is plenty of political intrigue and detail about the Huguenot persecution to create a well-developed historical setting. The blend of characters, both historic and fictional, was interesting as well. My favorites were Jesuit priest, Father Mathieu and Nika, a native woman integral to the plot. The romance is a bit predictable and perhaps stretches believability. The two main characters, Genevieve and Tristan Lanier. resist their attraction for the first half of the book and then suddenly marry and fall in love. But The Pelican Bride is first and foremost a romance and follows along the prescribed lines for the genre.

All in all I would recommend The Pelican Bride to all who love an historical romance. The little known era detailed in the book makes it a fresh and interesting read.

Recommended.

(Thanks to Revell for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.