September 22, 2016

November Celebrate Lit Box

Celebrate Lit November Celebration Box

november-box

The November Celebration Box is here! This celebration box is a unique, one of a kind box with goodies hand picked by the author just for you! These boxes are special because they are not sold anywhere else. There is a limited supply so be sure to get yours right away!

The November’s box features Carrie Fancett Pagel’s Tea Shop Folly. Sales for the November box will close on October 10 or while supplies last. The first 12 people to order will receive an ebook copy of the Maggie Award 2016 finalist, The Substitute Bride.

The basic box includes: 

A minimum of 6 items handpicked by the author themed around the book.
A themed charm specifically chosen for this book.
One lucky box will contain a special teacup and saucer that no one else will receive.

The first 12 people to order will receive an ebook copy of the Maggie Award 2016 finalist, The Substitute Bride.

Along with the basic box, you can purchase the ebook, paperback or an autographed paperback book.

To purchase your box, click here.

A Lady Unrivaled


 
Click here to purchase your own copy.

About the Book



Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile–even if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won’t wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he’s determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her–and his daughter–from those intent to destroy them all?

About the Author

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British romances. She makes her home in the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna White

So Very Ella

Back in 2008, I went to my first writers conference, where I met my current best friend and critique partner. I’d been pitching the first book in a series I was rewriting from my childhood, so this was the first project of mine our newly formed critique group did together. Specifically, the third book in the series, which I was then calling Diamond Blaze.

It was about a girl very much like me. Optimistic in the extreme. Always looking for a reason to smile. Her name was Lady Ella Myerston, and though she was the heroine in the third novel in a series—friend to heroine from book 1 and sister of hero in book 2—Ella stood on her own. Or I hoped she did. You see, it’s not very often I try to write a character so much like me, and I wasn’t sure what my new critique partners would think.

I was delighted and relieved when my critters, as I call them, loved her—it felt a little like them loving me. šŸ˜‰ With Stephanie, that BFF/critique partner, Ella became part of our language. “That’s so Ella” meant “that’s so hopefully and optimistic.” It’s a phrase we used for years, long after that series got shelved and we focused on other projects.

When I finally sold a rewrite of the first book to Bethany House and The Lost Heiress released last September, I was so excited to get to breathe new life into the other books in the series as well. I gave some new twists and turns to Brice’s and Rowena’s story in The Reluctant Duchess, took it to new depths, but it was still largely the story I’d first written seven years before.

Ella’s story, though . . . we eventually settled on the title A Lady Unrivaled, but it was the hardest one in the series for us to name. And writing! Ella’s story didn’t work anymore as I’d had it. I had to toss out the entire thing and start fresh, with a new premise and new plot. But Ella—Ella had to remain Ella. I learned more about her as I rewrote the series, of course, and I added a few things not like me, naturally. But Ella still seeks a reason to smile, always. She still believes in hope, in every situation. And her knack for misplacing things—herself included—might be borrowed (and exaggerated) from my remarkable ability to lose things that I sat down right there two minutes ago.

Ella got new adventures, new goals, new excitement in her life—but she’s still the Ella I got to know all those years ago. And her hero, Cayton, is still the sometimes surly, too-realistic, very different-from-Ella man he has to be to counteract her.

My editor, in her notes to me, said, “Cayton and Ella are so very different. In a way, you wonder how they’ll make it work. And yet you can’t help think they will, and want them to.”

The love story in this book is partly mine, too. Because though on the surface my husband isn’t much like Cayton, in the ways that matters, he is. He’s my opposite, but my perfect complement. He doesn’t always see the bright side I cling to, but he’d never ask me not to cling on anyway. We view the world very differently—and can face it because we’re together.

I love all my books, all my characters. But A Lady Unrivaled . . . well, it’s just so very Ella. I hope you love it just a fraction as much as I do!

My Review

 A Lady Unrivaled is the third and final book in this series. I really liked Cayton in this book because it isn't very often we get to meet a hero that actually cares for his own child as much as he can. In fact during this time period it is hard to meet a heroine who cares for her own child! I also really loved how taken little Addie was with Ella. Nothing makes my heart melt more than a little one.

One of my favorite parts about this book is how Cayton and Ella constantly bicker about what color her hair is! Toward the end when he proves to her just how red her hair is was a wonderful scene. But really I loved all the scenes with both Cayton and Ella. From their first encounter, to the times he rescued her I just felt their chemistry was perfect.

Of course this book isn't all romance. If you've read the first two you know there are still many people searching for the "fire eyes" and I'll admit I was wondering how she was going to wrap up this story. I was very pleased with the amount of intrigue in this book and how it balanced with the actual danger some of the characters faced. I also really loved how she wrapped up the mystery and the curse of the red diamonds.

At first I really didn't care for Kira but she began to really grow on me. I liked that even though she was a spy that she still stood up for what she believed in and in the end did the right thing. But my favorite part about Kira besides her being multilingual was her ballet experience. I loved how she was always thinking about stretching her knee and doing her ballet moves. It made me wish I knew a little more about ballet.

If you enjoy books by Dawn Crandall or Julie Klassen I think you'll really enjoy this series by White.

I received a free copy of this book through the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Stops

September 22: 100 pages per hour
September 22: Smiling Book Reviews
September 23: Book by Book
September 23: Bibliophile Reviews
September 24: bigreadersite
September 24: Jeanette’s Thoughts
September 25: The Power of Words
September 25: Pause for Tales
September 26: Faithfully Bookish
September 27: Back Porch Reads
September 28: cherylbbookblog
September 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
September 29: Blossoms and Blessings
September 29: Heidi Reads…
September 30: The Scribbler
September 30: Karen’s Krayons
October 3: Colonial Quills

Giveaway

I’m giving away a complete set of the Ladies of the Manor Series PLUS a special surprise straight from England! (US addresses only for paperbacks; an international winner is eligible for digital gifts, though!)

September 14, 2016

Review: Where Two Hearts Meet

Where Two Hearts Meet Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been looking forward to Caden's story ever since reading the first book in the series. Since I'm not the world's best baker or cook I'm always intrigued by characters that are. I loved getting to know her better in this story and watching her character develop through the pages was delightful.

Caden isn't a picture perfect woman and that is the best part about her. She isn't a size 2 but she is beautiful. And thankfully Adam comes along to prove to her that beauty isn't about what you weigh or what size you are. And the delicious treats and coffee she always has for him certainly don't hurt anything either! I really appreciated a real life character with personality flaws too. There were times when I wanted to scream at her because she didn't give herself enough credit for things but I felt like by the end of the book she was getting over some of her fears!

I really liked Adam too. He had a couple really cheesy lines that were fun and were good to balance out the more serious parts. I appreciate characters that have pasts that haunt them. I found myself very proud of what he had already overcome when the book first started but by the end of the book I was overwhelmed by all the growth he experienced. I really liked the theme of grace throughout this book. I so often read books about forgiveness and that is important too but grace covers so much more.

And of course the love story was wonderful too. I liked that it wasn't perfect or completely easy. I also loved some of the minor predicaments that Johnson threw at her characters. Made for a fun story. But of course I was also glad when I got my happily ever after at the end.

The best cameo type appearance in this book were the show tunes that Caden listens to as she cooks. I love two of the shows she listens to but you'll have to read the book! I'm not sharing which two :)

Lovers of Prince Edward Island, lighthouses, beaches, and romance will love this book. I would recommend this book for readers who also enjoy Irene Hannon's contemporary books.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

September 13, 2016

My (Underground) American Dream: A 5 Star Review

My (Underground) American Dream / Entre las sombras del SueƱo Americano
by Julissa Arce

I went into this book with very high expectations after reading the back cover blurb. I was hoping this book would shed some new light on the plight of immigrants in the United States and it did. This book met every expectation I had and many more. Arce's writing was so open and honest and flowed well as she told about her entire life from childhood to adulthood and from undocumented to US Citizen.



Arce's story isn't as poverty stricken as many stories you will find about undocumented immigrants that come to the United States but financial status isn't really what it is all about and this book proves that. I really appreciated Arce's insight into why her family did things the way they did and why they chose to move her to the United States when she was 11. I was so glad she shared from her heart what it was like to come to the United States as a child and have to start school not really knowing hardly any English. I loved the following passage from the book. I wish more people viewed speaking a language other than English as a blessing not a fault.

"There was and still is a stigma that if you don't speak English it means you aren't smart. This couldn't be further from the truth, of course, but perception is everything. Somehow ESL means "remedial" to a lot of people, when it should just mean "I speak one more language than you do."

Another part of this book that was especially well done was the constant inclusion of the Mexican culture in Arce's life along with her assimilation into the life in San Antonio. I loved the stories of her favorite moments as a youth in San Antonio. It was especially neat to read about her upbringing and know that it wasn't all perfect but she still had many good childhood memories. I also loved that many of her struggles in school were similar to mine and I'm sure many other people's of wanting to be included and liked.

Her family wasn't perfect but they worked hard to support each other. I think I can learn a lot from how the Hispanic culture bands together to support family no matter what it takes. I also loved how supportive and protective she was of her little brother and how he often returned the favors. Being bilingual myself I have always loved the Hispanic culture. Family is so different in Latin America. So close and so important.

So many aspects of Arce's story are things that I took for granted. Reading about her plight to simply get into a college reminds me that I never should have taken my opportunity for an education for granted. She did an excellent job sharing the fears she lived with day in and day out in this book without making it a pity party but instead an opportunity to educate readers about what immigrants go through to simply get into a school and get a job.

There were also so many reminders in this book about what is important in life. Arce took care to present herself well in her career but did not waste money on overly frivolous things. I really liked that about her. I loved how she was always supporting charities and her church, sending money to her family, and also starting scholarship funds for undocumented immigrants so they too could go to school. I appreciate the fact that she needed her 6-figure Wall Street job to do these things but I loved that she didn't flaunt her success.

I hope that reading this book will help people in the United States learn more about the plight of immigrants and also bring awareness to the need for immigration reform and also scholarships and grants for undocumented immigrants trying to attend college. I was so thankful that Arce tackled these difficult topics in her book and I hope it helps people view immigrants differently in the aspects of education, jobs, welfare, and taxes because of the truths she exposes in this book.

TambiƩn esta disponible en espaƱol
 I'll leave you with one other favorite quote from this book. I highlighted far more than two passages but the one I already quoted and this one struck me as the most important to share with review readers.

"Immigrants do not come to the United States to take anything away from Americans. We come to America to give our sweat, blood, and tears to pursue our dreams." 
I received an electronic advanced copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review which I have provided here.