I love Authors Interview 10 this is Anne Mateer

I love Authors Interview 10

anne_2_web crop

This is Anne Mateer

Welcome to “I love Authors Interview 10 ” on the couch today we have Anne Mateer, author of No Small Storm – Let’s all give Anne a warm greeting.

No Small Storm

I’m so glad Anne you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit from 6th-19th February as it gives me an opportunity to get to know you better.

Have a seat Anne and make yourself comfortable.

Thank you, Margaret, I am happy to be here with you and your readers.

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Anne Matteer author of No Small Storm

Anne, as you can see we have a lovely picture of a Desert Island in front of us. Now I want you to imagine that you are on this island and I will ask you five questions. Ready for the fun?

Anne –  Yes I am.

Great. My first question is..

Who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

Anne – I would definitely pick my husband! After 30 years of marriage, we know when to talk and when to be silent and give each other space. And because his job is very demanding in time and attention, I would enjoy being with him without his phone taking over.  🙂

I expect he will enjoy being with you without interruption too! Oops, that came out the wrong way lol.

 

Let talk about books

What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?

Anne – I think I would crave Bleak House by Charles Dickens. (It was a hard choice, believe me!) That book would satisfy my need for beautiful usage of language, great character development and story telling, humor, drama, romance, and a very, very long read.

That’s a great choice Anne, and I’m sure Charles Dickens would be impressed with it! I see what you have done there, choosing a long book to read while your husband gets on with building a shelter and making the dinner! Only joking.

And now food..

What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?

Anne – Coffee. Is that a food? It is certainly a necessity of life for me! Could I even survive without it? I’m not sure. My brain simply doesn’t function until I have at least one cup. Some mornings require two. I would miss it in every form, too: black, with cream, latte, flat white or iced!

I think we can allow that Anne as it is what you would miss the most!

 

Ok onto my next question..

You find a piece of paper with a pencil left behind from the previous Author who was shipwrecked here, what encouraging message would you leave for the next cast away?

Anne – I would write “You can view this solitude as a curse or a blessing. Embrace it. Use it. Let it open your eyes to who you are, to what you value most. Humble yourself to face who you truly are and find the courage to become who you want to be when you leave this place. This time alone will either be wasted or it will become the foundation for everything you accomplish as you go from here.” Even as I write these words I know I write them for myself, for I am currently living in a pretty isolated season of life. So far it feels like time wasted, but I don’t want it to end like that. I want this time to be a foundation for something greater in whatever season comes next.

That is really heartfelt Anne. I love these words and pray that you will emerge from your isolated season knowing what God has in store for your future. He has the victory in this season.

Sadly this is my last question..

If you could be one of your characters which would it be and why?

Anne – I would be Alyce from my novel At Every Turn because she is everything I am not: outgoing, adventuresome, confident, impulsive. She decides a course of action and does it without fighting the fear and anxiety that often paralyses me. And yet she lives and acts in such a winsome manner that people like her in spite of her sometimes reckless behavior because they see the compassionate heart that often drives her actions.

What a wonderful character Anne. Perhaps you could step into Alyce’s shoes and practice on the island impersonating her behaviour. You wouldn’t have an audience so you could pretend to be an actor embracing your character’s role. Just a thought.

Time to wrap it up

Well, Anne, I have enjoyed your company very much and it’s been a pleasure to meet you. I hope you have a successful tour and readers will buy your book.

Thank you, Anne, for joining me on my couch. Let’s stand up and give Anne a huge hand (not literally) in appreciation. Yes, you can clap now everyone, the interview is over!

What a lovely lady.

Anne has a GIVEAWAY for you so don’t forget to enter by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. You might need to do this asap as the tour finishes on the 19th. Hoping you are successful 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

No Small Storm FB Banner copy

About the Book

No Small Storm

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.

Simon Brennan

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.

About the Author

anne_2_web cropAnne 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

A historical story needs to be based on a kernel of fact

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!

Choosing a historical event

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.

Research

As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms was 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?

A glut of  questions

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 people on those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.

The piece de resistance

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 the salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?

The birth of the book

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

1d68a794-d050-463a-adc6-a003271d72c3To 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 lithograph 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

A Song Unheard an amazing book about love and war

A Song Unheard requires an ear to hear the music of the writer’s pen.

a song unheard fb banner copy

My Penny’s worth

A Song Unheard

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White has just blown me away with its pure musical writing. Yes, I raise my hands up – a book that sings despair and hope through its melodic pages. Consequently, it would lure me into a gentle aria only to send my senses into a crescendo moments later. I wanted to stand and applaud even though I had just read the first chapter.

Should you trust a thief?

Dear reader, can I be honest? A question you don’t ask a thief as it requires a truthful answer which the pilferer might steal! However, I don’t mind as A Song Unheard has taken my heart. But steal away Willa Forsythe steal away as there are very few books where I shed a tear.

A book to top A Name Unknown?

I thought Roseanna White’s first book very good, but in my opinion, this one tops A Name Unknown. Why? This book builds upon the Family of thieves and uncovers more of their secrets. Willa takes the lead role this time and what a character she has turned out to be. A Song Unheard plays to her strengths and weaknesses superbly. I loved Willa and her music, how she made a beaten up old violin her friend. With skill like hers, it is no wonder she made the Stradivarius putty in her hands. So who wouldn’t fall in love with her music?

Can you hear the message?

There is a beautiful message floating amongst notes, can you hear it? Oh, this book oozes brilliance.

A guarded heart

I love the stamina in which Willa keeps her heart enclosed. Equally, her freedom will take this determination to a higher level. There are no accessible routes for Willa or her heart. Or are there? Well sorry folks, I’m not going to do a spoiler as I want you to read the book for yourselves.

Who else is part of the music?

Of course, the book isn’t only about Willa. Lucas De Wilde plays an important part too. And I love the way he is caught in Willa’s web just as I am. Barclay, also a member of the Family steps into the breach and is infuriating but often right when decisions need action. The story would not be complete without Lucas’ family who needs rescuing from the Germans.

Finally…

So there you have it, a story of thieves, spies, deception, love and forgiveness all written into a musical composition and awaiting an audience.

Can I just say, I loved A Song Unheard? Well, I just have.

A recommendation is a given. But I would read A Name Unheard first so that you get to know this family.

I hope my five stars won’t be stolen by the Family!

Thank you Rosanna for writing this lovely book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Don’t forget the FREE GIVEAWAY at the end of this blog.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

SongUnheard

Title: A Song Unheard

Author: Roseanna M. White

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 2, 2018

 

Willa Forsythe

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

About the Author

Roseanna White 2017Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, Roseanna is homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. She is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest post from Roseanna White

An early start

I started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers. Moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music.

Making the music weep

We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep.

That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew?

Music can be many things

That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope, tears or truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words.

A change of tempo

This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.”

But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord.

My prayer

I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.”

Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, January 11

History, Mystery & Faith, January 11

Genesis 5020, January 11

Bookworm Mama, January 11

A Simply Enchanted Life, January 11

Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 12

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 12

Blogging With Carol, January 12

Multifarious, January 12

proud to be an autism mom, January 12

Faithfully BookishJanuary 13

Christian Bookaholic, January 13

Karen Sue Hadley, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

A Greater YesJanuary 13

Remembrancy, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

Just the Write Escape, January 14

Connie’s History Classroom, January 14

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

A Reader’s Brain, January 15

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 15

Smiling Book Reviews, January 15

Cordially Barbara, January 15

Pursuing StacieJanuary 15

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 16

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

The Artist Librarian, January 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 16

Bigreadersite, January 16

Mommynificent, January 17

Seasons of Opportunities, January 17

Moments Dipped in Ink, January 17

Baker Kella, January 17

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, January 17

God’s Little Bookworm, January 18

allofakindmom, January 18

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18

Pause for Tales, January 19

Have A Wonderful Day, January 19

Just Commonly, January 19

Bibliophile Reviews , January 19

Janices book reviewsJanuary 19

Radiant LightJanuary 20

The Power of Words , January 20

Book by Book, January 20

CAC Devourer, January 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 20

Splashes of JoyJanuary 21

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

Neverending Stories, January 21

Faery Tales Are Real, January 21

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

margaret kazmierczak, January 22

The PhD Mamma, January 22

Cafinated Reads, January 22

Daysong Reflections, January 22

Romances of the Cross, January 23

Purposeful Learning, January 23

Rachel Scott McDaniel, January 23

Carpe Diem, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 23

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, January 24

Henry Happens, January 24

Joy of Reading, January 24

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 24

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Giveaway

 81aff2f9-c69d-4f15-a1a1-d701278cf344

In order to celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book. There is also a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!

Click below to enter and be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c72a

That moment of anger when you rage uncontrollably

A moment of anger and my life changed forever. Shocked eyes gazed at me as I realized the scale of my actions. Nothing could take away my fist punching explosion that made twelve placid ladies jump from their seats. My reaction to a statement that contradicted my self-knowledge appeared disturbingly extreme.

That moment of anger changed my life

The door closed on my tranquil life, and I would never return to live there again. That moment of anger had risen from the depths of my childhood. All the sad memories wrapped up in one deadly time bomb. It stripped me of my vocation and flung me into the world again. I may have had my limbs intact, unlike Michael the main character in All of You, but my heart felt crushed beyond repair. Now what?

Michael’s life changed, and he knew more than one moment of anger as he strived to rebuild his life. Michael is a hero. Unfortunately, I am not! But he too asked the question “now what?”

All of you FB banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: All of You All of You by Sarah Monzon

Author: Sarah Monzon

Release date: May 15, 2017

Genre:Dualtimeline/Contemporary Romance

 

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

My Penny’s worth
1944 or modern day

All of you is an interesting story about two eras. I was surprised that I related more with the modern day saga than to the WW2  drama. Maybe it was the strong central character Michael who captivated me with his vulnerability. That macho Navy Pilot who had it all then dramatically lost everything in a freak accident. How I felt for him!

What I liked

Jack, a woman after my own heart, a girl from a male dominated family – I could identify with her and the struggles she had with overprotective brothers. Michael and Jack at times need their heads knocked together, even if self-sacrifice appears the better choice. I loved the sweet touches that at times had the pair believing they had a future together then moments later the barriers crash down. Michael’s courage and faith shine through but there is a moment of anger when he lets rip, only one you say, I am sure there were others!

What I felt it lacked.

Some of the story for me, unfortunately, left little surprise and I could figure out what would happen, especially in the 1944 tale. There were niggles in this storyline which at times distracted the enjoyment – but that is just me.

Oh that word “Bloke”, I dislike this used by a gentlewoman of the period. “Chap” would have been more in keeping with her background and class. Some others I won’t mention. Otherwise, they will ruin the plot apart from saying the book tended to be too neat in its solutions to various situations. Having said that I did enjoy the way Sarah Monzon’s chapters ended leaving me wanting to turn the next page!

What the book provides

This book gives an insight into a sudden traumatic event that tears the life out of a high flyer. The reader is subjected to the emotions of a fallen hero who no longer knows his worth. Michael’s protective nature is compromised due to his disability – can he be the man he once was? You will have to read All of You to find out!

There is also the bravery of a woman who wants to “do her bit” in the war. The information on the ATA (Air Transport Auxilary) was interesting and will no doubt be new to some readers. It made a change having women winning the war instead of the men!

The book also shares the message of trusting in God no matter what the life circumstances.

Don’t forget to put it on your holiday read list.

Thank you, Sarah Monzon, for writing this book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Author

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to thebio photo(1) two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.

Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.

In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.

I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.

So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.

God Bless.

Blog Stops

September 12: A Baker’s Perspective

September 12: Quiet Quilter

September 13: Books, Books, and More Books

September 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts

September 14: Cordially Barbara

September 14: Smiling Book Reviews

September 15: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 15: Carpe Diem

September 16: Inklings and notions

September 16: Christian Bookaholic

September 17: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

September 17: Artistic Nobody

September 18: Bookworm Mama

September 18: Remembrancy

September 19: Back Porch Reads

September 19: Kat’s Corner Books

September 20: Just Jo’Anne

September 20: Margaret Kazmierczak

September 21: The Power of Words

September 21: Mary Hake

September 22: 100 Pages per Hour

September 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books

September 23: Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)

September 24: Blossoms and Blessings

September 24: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 25: Kathleen Denly

September 25: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winners.

Prejudice and bullying – A Name Unknown book review

A Name Uknown Book Review by Margaret Kazmierczak

Click here to purchase your copy.

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

A Name Unknown book review by Margaret KazmierczakBook title: A Name Unknown

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.

The Characters

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.

Margaret Kazmierczak's book review - A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

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.

Margaret Kazmierczak's book Review for A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

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

A Name Unknown book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

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.

Blog Stops

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 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

July 24: Pursuing Stacie

July 24: Cordially Barbara

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 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 31: Reader’s cozy corner

July 31: Cafinated Reads

July 31: Red Headed Book Lady

July 31: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

Giveaway

A Name Unknown book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

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.

Mother loses memory – None So Blind by Chautona Havig

None so blind FB Banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

“Who are you?” my father-in-law quizzed as I prevented his pathway out of the front door. “You can’t keep me here you know, all Polish Officers are charged with the duty of escaping if caught” – this will always be a painful memory for me.

“Dad, you are not in a POW camp now – the war is long over, you are safe.”

“I know you’re a German in disguise; you can’t fool me.” He retreated upstairs to his granddad annexe, muttering to himself how silly he had been to get caught.

Each day we, as a family had to deal with this dilemma. It was exhausting for us and frustrating for dad. Reading None So Blind therefore has been interesting to read as it deals with the issues of memory loss.

Continue reading “Mother loses memory – None So Blind by Chautona Havig”

Read all about it Blog Tour and Giveaway: For Love & Honor Jody Hedlund

For Love and Honor Banner
Click here to purchase your copy

About the Book

Author: Jody Hedlund

Book: For Love & Honor    
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

 My penny’s worth…

 
Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund

Background

 

For Love and Honor is set in Medieval England, where superstition abounds. The Aristocracy own patches of Land and defend them with their own army. Keeping peace with one’s neighbour is important and at times skirmishes break out over a matter of honour.


Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund

 

Characters

 

Enter the Heroine Lady Sabine and the Hero Sir Bennet. Both characters have a great sense of humour which hides their real emotions. Lady Sabine hides a blemish that if seen could put her life in danger and therefore wears a pair of long gloves to hide it. Sir Bennet is charming, handsome and a gentleman, but he is uneasy about marrying for money. Indeed money seems to hinder his mindset rather a lot. I felt like saying, “get over it” lad and move on, there is a woman to woo.

Then there is the Dowager, now she is a woman not to tangle with. Her intentions and conniving are delicious. Is there nothing she won’t do to get her own way?

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews for Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund.


Historical accuracy

Eager to begin this book I dived into its pages. Then I began to sink – Carriage’s in Medieval England, with compartments under the seats? 
 
I have to admit that this image had me scrolling through Google to find pictures. Being English I dislike inaccuracies in books written by Authors from another country. It took a while but eventually, I found a carriage of sorts. It was like a farmers wagon, heavily made of wood, with side seats and a frame of sorts over the top covered with material. But no door as depicted in this book. 
 
In my mind, from the description, all I could think about were carriages in use in the days of the highwaymen. And yes the same happened when bandits arrived on the scene, again my imagination summed up the classic highwayman of old England. For days the ebook remained unopened, then I remembered that I had agreed to do an honest review for the Author. Picking it up again and burying the previous images I continued – and I am so pleased I did…
 

The meat on the bones

 

Accepting an invitation to visit Sir Bennet, Lady Sabine and the Dowager set off from their home to his Castle with different motives.

Constant self-doubt badgers Lady Sabine during her visit while a chivalrous Sir Bennet fights between duty and love. Sabine asks why the handsome Sir Bennet, who could have any lady in the land, would want to spend his time with a plain Jane like her?


Chapter after chapter the main characters pick daisy petals – he loves me, he loves me not like in the Disney fairy tales.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund

 

Which Character spoke to me the most?

 

I can’t make up my mind which character I liked the most, Sabine for her strength or Bennet for his honourable nature. Or perhaps the Dowager who would do anything for her Granddaughter. The first two charm and frustrate the reader at the same time. Sacrifice is the main theme running throughout and both characters have their own fair share of it.  

The flow of the book

 

I did find I struggled at times with the character changes at the beginning of the chapters. Now reading at a pace and eagerly turning the pages I would be Sabine one moment and then have to switch to Bennet. Having said that it was interesting getting inside their heads and hearing from the other perspective.


Margaret kazmierczak reviews For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund

 

What did I like about the book?


Once it started to run, I enjoyed the teasing between Sabine and Bennet. The workings of The Dowager’s mind, out to get her own way, flowing in and out of the pages like a motherly hen; and Bennet’s mother who too is looking for a suitable outcome. Then the blemish that could destroy everything, so neatly hidden by a glove, but ever rearing its ugly head wanting to be accepted and finally Sabine’s desperate desire to be loved for who she really was. 

 My conclusion


This is a good book for emphasising the importance of honour in love for young adults. The role model depicted by Sir Bennet has almost been ditched by young men today along with the emphasis that women deserve to be respected. The book tackles the pull of early love and how the heart, emotions and physical attraction can be a challenging mountain to climb. Apart from the love story, there is action, reaction and superstition to entertain the reader. 
 

Would I recommend this book?

 

Personally, I think this book would be a great read to get young people talking about today’s relationships. There is plenty of meat to chew on and in the end whether the lad gets the girl or not it is a good moral story. I would, therefore, recommend it and shall award it 4 stars as I liked it. Oh, that carriage and the highwaymen, I still can’t get the image out of my head – but that is my problem! 


Margaret Kazmierczak reviews For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund


 

A word of thanks

 
Thank you, Jody Hedlund, for writing this book and bringing a moral dilemma into action.

*Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.* 

 

About the Author

 
Jody Hedlund. Web - Copy



Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

 
Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?
By Jody Hedlund
With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.
Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.
Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.
I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).
Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?
The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.
The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.
The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.
As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.
Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.
But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.
More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.
It’s not just another dating book. Instead, it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.
So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?
Giveaway
 
For love & Honor Celebration Tour
To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!

2181f4c9-19f5-4e35-8547-d0764ecac556
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 
Congratulations to the winner
 

Blog Stops

 
May 6: The Scribbler
May 7: Back Porch Reads
May 8: Book by Book
May 9: A Path of Joy
May 11: Radiant Light
May 12: Just Commonly
May 13: Bigreadersite
May 14: God1meover
May 15: thewitsabout
May 15: Baker Kella
May 15: Remembrancy