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Names have decided the fate of many people – especially a foreign name!
My father-in-law was born in Poland but after the second world war could not return to his home country. He settled in the UK, but when he started dating, his surname and accent gave away his international routes. A gentle man and war hero, he suffered prejudice because of it and on two occasions denied the right to court a young lady. Proud of his name he refused to change it like so many of his countrymen. Jan did not give in to the bullies. Instead, he stood firm and held his head high.
A Name Unknown is a book about prejudice, bullying, and the misconception of the person behind the surname. It is a tale close to my heart.
About the Book
Author: Roseanna M. White
Release date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
She’s Out to Steal His Name.
Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
My Penny’s worth
What a beautiful blend of opposites there are in this book – wealth and poverty, faith and none, lack of experience and street wise, fear and strength. All these knit together to create a tale of intrigue as a thief takes on a commission to steal secrets from a gentleman of status.
Rosemary is a wily young lady, older than her years, and dedicated to looking after her street family – a noble trait even if it is on the wrong side of the law. But I like her determination, to make the best of what life has dished up for her. She has depth and a moral code, not to steal from the poor.
So when a commission comes her way to steal a wealthy man’s secrets I couldn’t but admire her tenacity and resourcefulness.
Peter Holstein, Rosemary’s target is nothing like she imagines. A quiet gentleman, full of God’s love. He keeps himself to his study day in day out which is a mystery to Rosemary. Both dance around each other in a cautious way. Peter suffers prejudice due to his surname, something he finds very distressing as he has always been fair to his staff and neighbours.
There are also other strong characters, and I particularly liked the housekeeper, who is profusely protective of her employer. I could see her striding down the hallway on a mission to keep Peter safe from Rosemary! And then there is the mysterious person watching – who is he?
What I liked
The story line tackles prejudice, calling attention in particular to those who are different. The author takes care to craft believable heroes in their own right, with strengths as well as faults and failings. There are dramatic and sensitive scenes which remind me of Catherine Cookson and her tales of impossible relationships.
Would I recommend this book?
If you are looking for a book that deals with injustice, love, forgiveness and prejudice set in pre-war England, then I would recommend this book.
Thank you, Roseanna M. White, for writing this book.
*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*
About the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at http://www.roseannamwhite.com.
Guest Post from Roseanna White
It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.
I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.
Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)
GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE
100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.
In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.
Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.
July 18: Faithfully Bookish
July 18: These Splendid Sentences
July 18: Bibliophile Reviews
July 18: Neverending Stories
July 19: Bookworm Mama
July 19: Seasons of Opportunities
July 19: Blogging With Carol
July 20: A Reader’s Brain
July 20: Genesis 5020
July 20: Just the Write Escape
July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 21: Connie’s History Classroom
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 22: Fiction Aficionado
July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews
July 22: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 23: Inklings and notions
July 24: Pursuing Stacie
July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves
July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books
July 25: God’s Little Bookworm
July 25: Blossoms and Blessings
July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot
July 26: Margaret Kazmierczak
July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 28: With a Joyful Noise
July 28: Have A Wonderful Day
July 28: Christian Bookaholic
July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street
July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 29: Faery Tales Are Real
July 30: His Grace is Sufficient
July 30: History, Mystery & Faith
July 31: Reader’s cozy corner
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Red Headed Book Lady
To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winner.