Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay


Daughters and mothers. . .enemies, or allies? Of course, it depends on the people, and Katherine Reay has touched the very heart of the acerbic relationship between a mother and daughter with her characterization exemplified by the connections between Janet and her daughter, Alyssa, and Janet and her mother.

Alyssa Harrison never wanted to return to Winsome, Illinois. However, circumstances and life conspired heavily against her. Now, she not only feels like a loser but must face her mother, too.

Reay pulls you into the story of a prodigal daughter, her parents and the community of Winsome from page one and never lets you go.

Of Literature and Lattes is written from multiple points of view. I enjoy this, on one hand, because you get to know the people and their thoughts better. However, on the other hand, it can sometimes be confusing. I think more so because, even though Of Literature and Lattes works as a standalone, it is a sequel, and I may have understood the people better had I read the first book, too.

Lest you think the book is only about parental relationships, it is not. It is about relationships of all kinds; the good and the not so good.

The novel is serious, thoughtful and at times bleak and desolate. The Biblical themes, though minimal, are weighty and on point. Through it all runs a thread of optimism and the promise of hope.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

# Of Literature and Lattes #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

Return to the cozy and delightful town of Winsome, where two people discover the grace of letting go and the joy found in unexpected change.

After fleeing her hometown three years earlier, Alyssa Harrison never planned to return. Then the Silicon Valley start-up she worked for collapsed and turned her world upside down. She is broke, under FBI investigation, and without a place to go. Having exhausted every option, she comes home to Winsome, Illinois, to regroup and move on as quickly as possible. Yet, as friends and family welcome her back, Alyssa begins to see a place for herself in this small Midwestern community.

Jeremy Mitchell moved from Seattle to Winsome to be near his daughter and to open the coffee shop he’s been dreaming of for years. Problem is, the business is bleeding money—and he’s not quite sure why. When he meets Alyssa, he senses an immediate connection, but what he needs most is someone to help him save his floundering business. After asking for her help, he wonders if something might grow between them—but forces beyond their control soon complicate their already complex lives, and the future they both hoped for is not at all what they anticipated.

With the help of Winsome’s small-town charm and quirky residents, Alyssa and Jeremy discover the beauty and romance of second chances.

Roll Back the Clouds by Terri Wangard

Terri Wangard interweaves a tale of heart-wrenching sadness, devastating disclosures and earth-shattering secrets masterfully blended in unexpected ways. As the Lusitania passengers embark on journeys of friendship, each person’s life becomes interwoven with the other, in unforeseen and helpful manners.

Historical fiction has always been my choice in fiction books because I love history, but sometimes it is just the cut and dried bare facts and dates, leaving me wanting to know more about the people and the era.

As I read the story, I felt dread because I knew the fateful ending (same reason I am the only person in the world that has not watched the movie Titanic). However, even though I knew about the history surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania, I knew very few details.

Wangard writes about the stunning beauty of the ocean liner, in diagrammatic detail, leaving the reader in breathless awe, and in raw, poignant sadness knowing the future of the fated liner.

Geoff and Rosaleen, along with a multitude of others board the Lusitania, looked forward to enjoying its beauty along with scheduled fun activities and relaxation. But such was not to be.

As a survivor, Rosaleen relives the horrific circumstances repeatedly, and her husband’s injuries add to her distress. Wangard’s details leave the reader feeling Rosaleen’s anguish, suffering and torment, too. I can not even begin to imagine.

Historical fiction fans will want to read Terri Wangard’s newest book, Roll Back the Clouds.

Some scenes are very intense and may be difficult for a few readers; for this reason, I would suggest the book be read by older teens-14+ and adults.

I received this book from the author through Interviews & Reviews.

Publisher’s Summary

A dream-come-true becomes a nightmare.

Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to England aboard the fabled Lusitania in 1915. Europe is embroiled in war, but everyone insists the conflict shouldn’t affect a passenger liner.

Then, the grand ship is crippled by a German torpedo. Rosaleen makes it into a lifeboat, but Geoff is missing. Convinced he lives, she searches the morgues in Queenstown, heartsick at recognizing so many of her fellow travelers. Geoff is finally located in a Cork hospital, alive but suffering a devastating back injury.

While waiting for him to recover, Rosaleen is thrilled to meet her mother’s family, but a dark cloud hovers over her. The battered faces of dead babies haunt her. She sinks into depression, despairing of Geoff’s new interest in religion. Her once happy life seems out of reach.

Will joy ever be theirs again?

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano


Storing Up Trouble is another delightful book by Jen Turano. Her books are always well researched and full of fun!

The escapades of Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, along with Norman’s assistant, Theo, will have you smiling and laughing quite frequently. Add in Beatrix’s eccentric and non-conformist Aunt Gladys and her odd companions, not to mention her 20 cats, and you have a recipe for great entertainment, enjoyment and amusement.

Lest you think it’s all fun and games, let me assure you it’s not. There are very real and important issues covered. Turano addresses inequality in the workplace for women, their inability to vote and society’s cruelty to those they consider inferior. Additionally, there is an element of mystery and suspense, too.

Turano included a small “cameo” featuring Mr. Selfridge, pioneer of the modern department store. I saw a fascinating show highlighting his forward and visionary thinking. Now, I have enjoyed seeing another side to him.

Norman, and later Beatrix’s family seemed to change a little too quickly for my tastes. But that is just a feeling on my part, as I like to see the transformation as it progresses, not after it happens.

Storing Up Trouble is book 3 of the American Heiresses series by Jan Turano. However, it can work as a stand-alone. I also read and reviewed book 1, Flights of Fancy.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

#StoringUpTrouble #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

The Chisholm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

TEXAS! The stars…big and bright! Oh, my. Be still my heart. Kathleen Y’Barbo writes about Texas in a way that makes me feel like I am back in my adopted home state.

The Chisholm Trail Bride introduces us to the main characters, who are all in their early teen years. There is Eliza Gentry, daughter of a prosperous cattleman; Wyatt Creed, son of a retired Texas Ranger, who is also an alcoholic; and Ben “Benjy” Barnhart, son of a Texas judge. The narrative begins as they are about to set out on the Chisholm Trail to deliver cattle to buyers in Kansas.

The trail ride brings joy and deep heartbreak along the way, and this ride becomes the three’s last trail ride. Ben, unlike Eliza and Wyatt, creates his own problems due to his selfish and wantonly cruel ways.

Years later, we find Eliza living in Louisiana with her mother. Life has not been the same for her since the trail ride, and it looks like it never will be.

Y’Barbo writes a mesmerizing and captivating tale, melding mystery, murder and kidnapping, along with love and forgiveness. Her portrayal of the trail leaves you wishing you were under the stars, too, etching the story in your memory. She draws such wonderful pictures of Texas, Louisiana and all the happenings between the two states that I was often left breathless. (I also never guessed the ending, which is something that almost never happens to me. It is stunning and surprising!)

The Author’s Note at the end is a do not miss portion of the novel, as there is a plethora of fascinating information about the Chisholm Trail.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

#NetGalley #The ChisholmTrailBride #KathleenY’Barbo

Publisher’s Summary

A Series for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry

Barbour Publishing offers a series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.
 

Stubborn Hearts Clash on a Cattle Drive

Eliza Gentry’s pursuit of marriage to the son of her family’s sworn enemy has cost her greatly. Furious at his daughter’s choices, her father sends her off with the cattle drive heading toward Fort Worth and the Barnhart ranch, but under the watchful eye of Wyatt Creed, a Pinkerton man he has hired to see to her safety. With danger at every turn—not the least of which to his heart—can Wyatt Creed keep his focus with Eliza Gentry around? Is the Chisholm Trail a place for falling in love or a place to die at the hands of cattle thieves?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Chisholm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1849 San Francisco (April 2019)
The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1860 Utah (July 2019)
The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1863 Tennessee (December 2019)
The Blizzard Bride by Susanne Dietze – set 1888 Nebraska (February 2020)

#NetGalley

The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch

I always look forward to Erica Vetsch’s novels. I, unfortunately, have not had time to read novels like I have wanted to. I’m so glad I took the time to read The Lost Lieutenant!

Vetsch has done a great job in her research, not only into the Regency period but also the feelings and emotions of the people who lived them.

Diana Seaton has a cruel father. He obviously never wanted a daughter, and never lost an opportunity in digs, slights and other ways of letting Diana know his feelings. I could really empathize with Diana. Even though my father wasn’t quite as cruel as Diana’s, my father was sometimes cruel. He, too, wanted a boy and was extremely disappointed when his first child, me, was a girl (hence my name!).

Evan Eldridge was a war hero, much to his dismay. The Prince Regent promoted him to the ranks of nobility, leaving Evan upset and disgruntled. I could also understand Evan’s feelings. I would rather be a regular everyday person than one in a position of “privilege”.

Vetsch pulls you into the roller coaster named The Lost Lieutenant and does not let go until the end of the story. She paints vivid word pictures, putting you right in the scene. Her characters run the gamut from kind, charismatic and loving to cruel, hedonistic and evil, which creates a thoroughly captivating novel.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

He’s doing what he can to save the Prince Regent’s life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero–he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn’t think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn’t have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there’s something he can’t quite remember. It’s important, dangerous–and if he doesn’t recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone’s very life.

Readers who enjoy Julie Klassen, Carolyn Miller, and Kristi Ann Hunter will love diving into this brand-new Regency series filled with suspense, aristocratic struggles, and a firm foundation of faith.

Unwrapping Hope by Sandra Ardoin

Sandra Ardoin’s newest novella, Unwrapping Hope, introduces us to Phoebe Crain, her 5-year-old daughter Maura and Spence Newland.

Phoebe’s mantra could easily be “once bitten, twice shy.” She was deceived and mislead by a smooth-talking rich man. When she feels she’s being pursued by Spence Newland, she goes to extraordinary measures to remain aloof and sometimes even rude.

I can relate to Phoebe’s hesitance where Spence is concerned. She’s hurt and bewildered by her previous betrayal; she doesn’t want to set herself up for more duplicity.

I enjoyed little Maura so much. She had such sweet, abiding faith, and nothing dissuaded her from what she believed to be true, a story her mother told her about princes and princesses.

Unwrapping Hope is the perfect book to read curled up in your favorite chair while sipping your favorite hot beverage. Even though it is a novella, it is very well-written, and the characters feel authentic. I could just see myself as Phoebe’s friend, along with her mother, and how fun it would have been to spend a day with them and Maura!

Unwrapping Hope is based on historical fiction set near Christmastime. However, it’s not really a Christmas story.  The novella portrays love, faith, healing, forgiveness and God’s love for His children in every season.

I received a copy of the book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

She chose the wrong man once. Can she trust her instincts now?

Phoebe Crain, an accomplished pianist, lives in near poverty to protect her five-year-old daughter from scandal. When Phoebe receives a handcrafted cigar box by mistake, her desperation to give the child something special for Christmas drives her to suggest a trade with Spence Newland, a man she views as no more principled than her daughter’s late father. But the more time she spends with the department store heir, the more Phoebe struggles to keep up her guard against him.

Spence believes the cigar box will help him gain a reclusive investor’s financial support for his proposed five-and-ten-cent stores, demonstrating his ability to manage the family fortunes. Yet he hesitates to bargain with a widow who mistrusts him for no apparent reason…until he meets a charming little girl at the train station who awaits the arrival of a prince.

Will a betrayal in Phoebe’s past and Spence’s unraveling plans derail their hope for happiness and keep a child’s fairy tale from coming true?

Celebrating the Release of Unwrapping Hope

Congratulations to Sandra Ardoin on the release of Unwrapping Hope.

I will be posting a review of Sandra’s new book tomorrow. In the meantime, it can be purchased on Amazon for $0.99!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Unwrapping-Hope-Widows-Might-Novella-ebook/dp/B07XYCQTM8/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2TVCJC6OB85EJ&keywords=unwrapping+hope+sandra+ardoin&qid=1571180790&s=digital-text&sprefix=Unwrapping+Ho%2Caps%2C191&sr=1-3
(NOT an Affiliate link)

Ever Faithful: A Vintage National Parks Novel by Karen Barnett

Ever Faithful, though an historical romance book, covers in detail a lot of information about Yellowstone National Park and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC’S) during the 1930s Depression Era. Barnett’s research and love for our national parks shine throughout the entire book. And lest you think it would be hard to incorporate Biblical truths and insights into the narrative, rest assured, they flow naturally and logically into the tale.

The staff of the various park jobs with their quirky nicknames are described in such a way as to make you feel every emotion they are experiencing in their lives. In addition, there is a minor mystery to be solved-guaranteed to surprise you, too!

One of my favorite animals is the American Bison, and Barnett gives the history of their diminishing numbers, leaving me thankful that this majestic creature did not disappear from our nation.

Karen Barnett’s book, Ever Faithful, is an account of faith, overcoming very challenging obstacles, forgiveness and love. It is a story you will not want to end! As an added bonus, the Author’s Note at the end gives more information and history of the era and Yellowstone.

I wasn’t aware Ever Faithful was part of a series, so it could very easily be read as a stand-alone.

I received the book from Waterbrook Multnomah. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more–and the woman who must confront his deception.

A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well.

Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

#WaterbrookMultnomah

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep on Tour with Celebrate Lit (Plus a Giveaway!)

About the Book

Book: The Noble Guardian

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: June, 2019

A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure

The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time in coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her for the rest of her journey. He refuses—until she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal. . .money. Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

Abigail (Abby) Gilbert hopes to one day marry “the love of her life.” She believes her chance is at hand when her cruel stepmother tosses her out, along with her maid, telling her to go to Sir Jonathan at Brakewell Hall. Even though her father arranged the marriage, Abby believed the marriage was one of love and not for money or convenience.

Captain Samuel Thatcher, requisitioned to protect travelers from highwaymen, doesn’t need to care for someone he initially believed to be an aristocratic, head in the clouds girl. However, circumstances dictate otherwise!

Griep integrates historical characters under a fictional umbrella, creating a suspenseful, hair-raising escapade for our hero and heroine. Also, she seamlessly blends her faith, illustrated through the main characters, into the story naturally and logically.

I enjoy all of Michelle Griep’s novels, and this one, like the others in the trilogy, along with her other books, didn’t disappoint!

The Bow Street Runners Trilogy concludes with The Noble Guardian.

I received the book from NetGalley through Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at http://www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

More from Michelle

Highwaymen Aren’t All Glamorous

Highwaymen are often romanticized in historical romances, but the truth is these fella’s were generally not compassionate thieves at all. They were cutthroat robbers who sometimes killed. Here’s a brief history so that you’re in the know.

The term “highwayman” simply means a thief who steals—usually at gunpoint—from travelers on the road. Not all, but some of those attacks turned deadly, the robbers not wishing to leave anyone behind who could identify them. Others wore masks for the same purpose.

Long, deserted stretches of roads that were main thoroughfares were the particular favorite haunts of these men. Criminals would choose remote highways that supplied regular traffic going to and from major destinations, such as Hounslow Heath, about fifteen miles outside of London.

To combat these villains, in 1805 the Bow Street Horse Patrol was created. There were about sixty men hired to protect travelers on the principal roads within sixty miles of London. Most of the men had served previously in a cavalry regiment. Their most successful achievement was to rid Hounslow Heath of highwaymen.

And that’s where I got the idea for my hero, Samuel Thatcher, in The Noble Guardian. He’s a rough and tumble man who’s tired of life and the wickedness of man. Mostly he’s just biding his time until he retires—that is until he rescues Miss Abigail Gilbert from the clutches of one of the worst offenders of all…Shankhart Robbins.

Sound like an adventure? It is. Settle back with your own copy and see what it’s like to ride the rugged heath in a carriage, bounding along—until you hear the crack of a pistol.

Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, June 8

The Power of Words, June 8

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 8

Inspiration Clothesline, June 9

With a Joyful Noise, June 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 9

Back Porch Reads, June 10

Among the Reads, June 10

Captive Dreams Window, June 10

Genesis 5020, June 11

Inklings and notions, June 11

Blogging With Carol, June 11

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 12

As He Leads is Joy, June 12

Connie’s History Classroom, June 12

Carpe Diem, June 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 13

Abba’s prayer Warrior Princess, June 13

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 14

Wishful Endings, June 14

Stories By Gina, June 14

Through the Fire Blogs, June 15

Just the Write Escape, June 15

Blossoms and Blessings, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 16

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

Hallie Reads, June 17

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 18

janicesbookreviews, June 18

Moments, June 18

Bigreadersite, June 19

Godly Book Reviews, June 19

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 20

Remembrancy, June 20

Daysong Reflections, June 20

A Reader’s Brain, June 20

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

Pause for Tales, June 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Noble Guardian!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e31b/the-noble-guardian-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer Hosted by Hoarding Books

First Line

Laurel swung her feet from the armrest of the sofa to the floor and sat up.

About the Book

For readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.

Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and “take care of Mama” by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.

Langdon Rochester’s parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Langdon meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents’s command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Langdon decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women’s Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better life–even with so little to offer?

NOW, it’s YOUR Turn!!!

Grab the book you are currently reading, open to chapter one, and post the first sentence (or the second sentence) in the comments below.  Then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the First Line Friday pages this week. Just click on the FLF box below.