Seasons Series by Robin E. Mason-Blog Tour and Giveaway

Seasons series blog tour 4

Welcome to the Seasons series (by Robin E. Mason) Blog Tour and giveaway, hosted y JustRead Publicity Tours!


Welcome Colonel and Ms. Mason

BRUCE:  Good afternoon, Birdie Girl.

rem:  Good afternoon, Mr. Rochester. So nice to see you again.

BRUCE:   Why don’t you call me Bruce. Leastways for now.

rem:  Well, all right then, Bruce. Welcome. I do enjoy chatting with you.

BRUCE: I know so little about you, and you sit here so mélancolique, mon amie. Please, tell me a little about yourself!

rem:  I’m an oddball in a bunch of oddballs. LOL, I’m 59 and act 12 (no really). I’ve three grown kids and three beautiful granddaughters, and four kitty babies. Besides my writing, I sing and play the piano, I danced and directed the dance team at church for a few years, I paint and draw, and I’m an actress. I love, love, love being on stage, and do a smashingly brilliant British accent!

I also love baking and cooking, and big family gatherings, and I enjoy working in the yard and going for walks.

BRUCE:  Thank you kindly, Birdie Girl.

rem:  Now that Simone is home, can you tell us—

BRUCE:  Now, now, Birdie Girl. I do believe I’ll be asking the questions today. Hmm?

rem:  Yes, quite right…

BRUCE:  Could you explain what you mean when you say you can’t market as Christian Fiction, but you can as Faith Fiction?

rem:  When I first started writing, I would just write. I had no clue of genre, or what specs to follow. And some of my characters, well, not being believers, they, er, um, say things they shouldn’t. The less offensive of “street language,” and on occasion, “Oh my God.” I use that, too, but as a prayer and a plea to Him. And from what I understand of CF, that isn’t allowed.

But my faith is evident in my stories, in subtle ways. A character in my first book surprised me later in the story when they turned out to be a praying force behind my main character’s struggle.

BRUCE:  NODS  Go on, go on.

rem:  Allow me to share the words of my sweet friend, Carrie Schmidt, when she reviewed The Silent Song of Winter recently:

In her novels, Mason wrestles with some of the darkest parts of human nature. But she also wraps each story in the loving arms of Grace… A realization that the words of Scripture are God’s heart written just for her. A new awareness that she is a child of the King who is dearly loved. As this transformation takes place in Pearl’s heart, it touches every area of her life – with some very moving results.”
http://readingismysuperpower.org/2018/03/09/book-review-and-a-giveaway-the-silent-song-of-winter-by-robin-e-mason/

BRUCE:  Where did the idea of using seasons for your books come from, was it your plan to give each season its own book? What is your favorite season, and is it your favorite of the four books?

rem:  Yes and no. There’s another series out there, TOTALLY different to this one, waiting for me to write it. That’s what I thought I was going to be writing with this series! LOL, I’m a panster, and sometimes I get a title or character name, and the story evolves from that “seed.” I knew the titles of each of the four books, but when I started writing—it was so not the story I thought it was going to be! But yes, I knew that each book was its season.

And my favorite season is spring—it’s a robin thing-wink, wink—and yes, perhaps The Whispering Winds of Spring is my favorite. For one thing, it wraps up the series. But Simone’s battle was so characteristic of all of us sometimes; she made great strides in some ways, but still struggled in others.

BRUCE:  Speaking of seasons, it is a little humid out here, perhaps we could go to your lovely library!

rem:  But, of course!

BRUCE:  Here, mon amie, let me assist you!

rem:  Why, thank you, monsieur!

BRUCE:  I thank you kindly, Birdie Girl. TAKES OUT CIGAR  May I?
rem:  You have to ask?

BRUCE:  LAUGHS  Touché, Birdie Girl. Touché. I thank you kindly.

HOLDS CIGAR SUSPENDED TAKES A PUFF  Now, where were we?

Ah, yes… Are any of your characters modeled after you or someone you know?

rem:  Yes. Me. Mostly. All of my main characters have some of me in them. And most of my characters are either my imagination or a composite of people I know, or a combination.

BRUCE:  How did you come to know of our lovely town?

rem:  Oh, well, I suppose Mercedes told me. PAUSES  No, on second thought, I think it was Simone.

BRUCE:  PUFFS SMOKE  Interesting, you didn’t mention Pearl or Scarlett.

rem:  Hmmm… If I know Scarlett, and I think I do, she would have been rather too intimidated to speak out.

BRUCE:  NODS

 rem:  And Pearl, well, you know Pearl. She is a dear, but she can… shall we say, be wrapped up in herself betimes.

BRUCE:  Yes indeed. Now how did Simone tell you?

rem: TILTS HEAD, CONSIDERS  I remember knowing she needed help.

BRUCE:  That she did. That she did, indeed. PUFFS CIGAR  And you surely gave it.

rem:  Well, I’m not sure I did that much, really.

BRUCE:  Oh, Birdie Girl. You told her story. Without you she never would have, well, we can’t tell our secrets now, can we?

rem:  LAUGHS  No, we surely cannot.

BRUCE:  I know there is one person we will all love to hate! Were they a surprise, or did you know how they would be from the beginning?

rem:  Fontaine first comes to mind. Until you get to know his story. Same for Lissette. She was so troubled and tormented. Both of them were vile in their actions, and while interesting to write, and sometimes challenging, I can’t say either of them was fun. I knew both of them were despicable from the beginning; Fontaine, however, I did not discover his past until well into the first book.

BRUCE:  Do you let anyone dictate their story?

rem:  Dictate? I am but the humble scribe whose pleasure and privilege it is to put to pen—or digital form—the stories of my characters. Honestly, I know the general direction the story/series needs to go, but the fabric of it “comes” to me as I write. There are some minor bits that I construct, but mostly I am at their beck and call.

BRUCE:  Now then, you’ve told of the stories, Simone’s story, our story. What of your story?

rem:  My story?

BRUCE:  EXHALES AND CHUCKLES  My dear girl, we all have a story to tell.

rem:  SPUTTERS  I’m not sure…

BRUCE:  Stuff and nonsense! To quote our dear Pearl. PUFFS CIGAR Of course, you have a story. You were married once, were you not?

rem:  SIGHS  I was, yes.

BRUCE:  SHAKES HEAD  My word, Birdie Girl. You are making me work for it, aren’t you?

rem:  MUMBLES  Sorry.

BRUCE:  Tell me, what do you do when your characters behave this way?

rem:  NERVOUS LAUGH

BRUCE:  As I suspected.  PUFFS CIGAR Now. Tell us about your love.  CUTS A GLANCE And, I don’t mean the man you married.

rem:  SIGHS The one that got away.

BRUCE:  Got away? Was that the way of it?

rem:  LOOKS DOWN  No, it wasn’t.

BRUCE:  REACHES HAND OUT TO MY SHOULDER  Can you tell us what happened?

rem:  I sabotaged it.

SILENCE

rem:  He was too good to me, it was too good to be true. At least, that’s what I believed at the time. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing—I certainly didn’t consciously destroy the relationship.  SNIFFS

 BRUCE:  There, there, dear girl. That’s a hard thing to discover.

rem:   NODS

BRUCE:  I know you know the Almighty has your best interest at heart.

rem:  NODS

BRUCE:  WINKS And, He’ll bring you a love when you least expect it.  PUFFS CIGAR Why, look at me and my Trudy.

 rem:  SMILES, SWIPES AT STRAY TEAR  Yes, Col—Bruce, you’re right.

BRUCE:  Of course, I’m right. I’m always right.

BOTH LAUGH

BRUCE:  And what was this dear gentleman’s name?

rem:  BLUSHES  Terry.

BRUCE:  Well I dare say, Terry has suffered a great loss.

rem:  BLUSHES REDDER

 BRUCE:  No, no, it’s true. PUFFS CIGAR  You are a lovely and charming lady. Oh, mon amie, I haven’t upset you, have I?

rem:  No, I just decided to sit at the window. They truly are a remarkable set of books!

BRUCE:  Well, of course, they are!!  Now then, I believe the custom is to ask what’s called Fast Five.

rem:  SMILES

 BRUCE:  Coffee or tea?

rem:  That depends—

BRUCE:  STERN LOOK, THEN SMILES  No, Birdie Girl, Fast Five. SNAPS FINGERS

 rem:  Tea

BRUCE:  That’s more like it. Mountains or shore?

rem:  Easy, mountains.

BRUCE:  Horse or motorcycle?

rem:  Horses—OH!

BRUCE:  WINKS  Cats or dogs?

rem:  Cats, of course.

BRUCE:  Fiction or non?

rem:  Fiction, a thousand times fiction.

BRUCE:  What is the most important thing that you want your readers to take away from your books?

rem:  That God is always with us, and for us. I do not for a minute believe He causes us harm or danger or heartache to “teach us” a lesson. Rather, things happen (fallen world and all) and He is there in the thick of it, whether we see Him—or acknowledge Him—or not.

BRUCE:  Well done, dear girl.  PUFFS CIGAR  And now, dear Birdie Girl, I believe our time is done.

rem:  This has been… interesting.

BRUCE:  Indeed. Reversing roles is always a challenge—and no easy task.

rem:  Bruce, Colonel, I do so enjoy my time with you. I shall miss you.

BRUCE:  Stuff and nonsense.  WINKS  You never know when I might show up.

rem:  Quite true.

BRUCE:  I do thank you for the time. KISSES MY HAND  It has been a delight.

rem:  BLUSHES  And, I do believe the pleasure is all mine, dear Colonel.  WINKS BACK AT HIM


“Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

“NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”


About the Seasons series
Goodreads | Amazon

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.


the long shadows of summerTitle: The Long Shadows of Summer
Author: Robin E. Mason
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Release Date: August 31, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction/Southern Fiction

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

Purchase Links: Goodreads | Amazon


the tilting leaves of autumnTitle: The Tilting Leaves of Autumn
Author: Robin E. Mason
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Release Date: November 22, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction/Southern Fiction

Scarlett was the shrinking violet in the group. Faithful to her friends, and hiding secrets of her own. When Mercedes steps in to rescue her, she unknowingly plucks the thread that unravels Scarlett’s whole world.

But as Scarlett strives to hold fast to what is familiar the fabric of her life continues to come undone and secrets that are best kept hidden are exposed.

Purchase Links: Goodreads | Amazon


The Silent Song of WinterTitle: The Silent Song of Winter
Author: Robin E. Mason
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction/Southern Fiction

When all the noise has gone silent, all that is left is her song.

Pearl had lived under the impossible taskmaster of perfection. Nothing she does or ever did pleased her mother. And nothing she ever did could disappoint her father.

Caught up in the mystery of her friend’s curious—and secretive—return, Pearl wrestles with her own decisions and flees lest her own secrets are exposed.

Purchase Links: Goodreads | Amazon


The Whispering Winds of SpringTitle: The Whispering Winds of Spring
Author: Robin E. Mason
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction/Southern Fiction

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

Purchase Links: Goodreads | Amazon


About the Author

robin elizabeth mason

I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

CONNECT WITH ROBIN: website | blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | GoodReadsInstagram | Amazon

seasons series giveaway

Robin E. Mason is offering a Seasons series prize pack for her tour! ONE winner (US only) will receive:

  • a packet of Saisons Plantation tea
  • a Seasons series mug
  • a Seasons bookmark (handmade by the author)
  • Seasons notecards (also handmade by the author)
  • 4 pairs of earrings (one pair to represent each book)
  • AND winner’s choice of (1) signed print copy of Seasons book of choice OR kindle copies of all 4 books!

Giveaway will run from midnight June 11, 2018, through 11:59pm June 18, 2018. It is subject to the policies found here.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2b09c62e288/?

Click on the banner below for a full tour schedule & more chances to win!

tour schedule

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My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado: Millie’s Resolve by Rebecca Jepson

Quote

My Review

Millie Cooper is a stronger, more admirable person than I am. There is no way, especially after six years, that I would become the nurse for the mother and brother who broke up my engagement with their son and brother. I wouldn’t have the willingness or grace, particularly after learning their reason was-I was beneath them socially as the child of a fisherman’s family! Then, add that to the fact that her beloved needs her to care for his pregnant wife…NO WAY, NO HOW! However, if we indeed accept God’s grace, we can do anything. In this way, Millie is truly a strong, admirable person.

Rebecca Jepson is a new author to me, but she won’t stay that way long. Her story resonates with Biblical truths, insights and wisdom. She crafts a unique story that leaves you guessing until the end. The last few pages toward the end produce a desire to be able to read even faster! Inevitably, it can’t end the way you fear, or can it? The suspense is exciting, causing you to hold your breath hoping for, and receiving, a satisfying conclusion.

I am so enjoying the My Heart Belongs Series! I especially like that I am discovering new authors like Rebecca Jepson and that each book is a stand-alone story.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. through NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey now to healing spa town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 1888

Where the past and present collide, and a woman is on the precipice of unexpected love.

Millie Cooper, fisherman’s-daughter-turned-nurse, flees a painful entanglement with the wealthy Drexel family who summered near her childhood home in Nantucket, only to encounter them again six years later in Glenwood Springs. The serenity of her mountain hideaway in a town with healing springs is disrupted when she faces caring for the elderly mother and the expectant wife of Stephen Drexel, the man she’d once loved—at the request of his brother John, the man who’d kept them apart. Will Millie forgive the wrongs she feels were done to her, or will she come to see them as a blessing in disguise that leads her to greater joys?

More Books in The Series

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella’s Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna’s Choice by Angie Dicken(November 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt (January 2018)

Return to Bella Terra (The Italian Chronicles Book 3) by MaryAnn Diorio

My Review

Return to Bella Terra opens in America, specifically Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1900s. MaryAnn Diorio depicts the plight of the Italian immigrants to the United States in vivid detail. My heart ached for the Tonetta family, indeed all the families struggling to eke out a living while facing extreme racism and poverty. Couple their dire straits with the harsh winter, and I was moved to tears.

Maria Tonetta returns to Sicily with her oldest child, Nico, after receiving a telegram letting her know her mother is in her final days on earth. Diorio painted such a contrast between the weather in New York and Maria’s home in Italy that you not only felt you were there in the lush fields and countryside, but you also wanted to be there. However, Sicily’s economic crisis, the reason the Tonetta’s left for America, was still evident.

I enjoyed being able to catch up with the people of The Italian Chronicles. I especially appreciated the perspicuous and plentiful references to the characters’ faith, forgiveness and redemption even amidst their failings and frailties. There were some aspects of the story where I felt one or two of the people were more judgmental than was necessary for the circumstances, but overall the narrative felt true to life and representative of human nature.

Return to Bella Terra is book three, and the last, of The Italian Chronicles series. Because the story is a continuation, it would be better to read all three in order.

I received this book from BookCrash. However, I was under no obligation to post a review, nor was a positive review required.

You may purchase this book on Amazon or from a local retailer. (Not an affiliate link.)

Publisher’s Summary

A mother, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . .

When Maria Landro Tonetta receives word that Mama is terminally ill, Maria travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm.
When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream.

But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?

Bygone Christmas Brides by Ginny Aiken, Carla Gade,‎ Pamela Griffin, Tamela Hancock Murray,‎ Jill Stengl and Gina Welborn

My Review

Take a trip back not only to the 1800’s but also to the countries of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and America in Bygone Christmas Brides.

Each of the stories features messages of faith, with different morals such as trust, forgiveness, honesty and grace, to name a few. Some are touching in various ways, heart-warming, sometimes magical and also informative. Naturally, each one includes generous doses of romance!  Of course, each story is about Christmas, too!

I enjoyed learning more about traditions of the times and of the different countries’ traditions, some of which continue through today. Plus, there are recipes at the end of several of the stories, something I really enjoy and invariably look forward to trying out.

The Bygone Christmas Brides only had two new to me authors. I always enjoy reading stories by new authors, and I wasn’t disappointed.

At one time I did not care for novellas. However, I have begun to enjoy them more and more as time goes on. I fall in love with the characters, enjoy the different styles of each author and especially like that that I can read as few or as many as I want at one sitting.

Bygone Christmas Brides is a perfect book to curl up with a blanket in your favorite chair, on the couch or in your bed and let the stories transport you back in time. At the same time, they will help you slow down during this frenetic season, and you are sure to enjoy them.

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

Publisher’s Summary

Light a candle in the window and sit down to a slice of fruitcake as you delight in six 19th Century romances that welcome love at Christmastide. Many traditions held dear today have their roots in the British Isles and have been practiced for over a hundred years. In these six delightful historical stories, romance is nurtured amidst baking Scottish shortbread and English mince pies, burning the yule log, and hanging kissing boughs. But each couple is also plagued by worries of the day. As Christmastide draws to a close, will faith and love endure for future celebrations?

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age by Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Anne Love, Gabrielle Meyer, Natalie Monk, Jennifer Uhlarik, Erica Vetsch, Jaime Jo Wright and Kathleen Y’Barbo

My Review

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection is a delightful set of nine novellas chronicling the lives of nine couples from a variety of socio-economic stations in life. The stories are set between the years 1867 and 1899, during a time in US history known as the Gilded Age (The term was coined from a satirical Mark Twain novel, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today).

I enjoyed each of the stories in the compilation-some, of course, more than others, but each had its own endearing qualities. I learned a few new words (which, by the way, I love to do when reading). For example: faille, a word defined by Wiktionary as a fabric woven from silk, cotton, or rayon with slight ribs.

I was so engrossed in the story of the all-female baseball team in Susanne Dietze’s The Right Pitch that I was startled when members of the team were transported by carriage. The story is such a captivating and timeless saga that I forgot it was set in the 1800s!

Debut author Natalie Monk does an extraordinary job with her novella, For Richer or Poorer. I was drawn to Marcella Lipski and her plight in wanting to find a way to bring her family to America.

Each novella has a sweet story with messages of faith, hope and love; some have stronger messages than others, but all complement their stories well.

If you want a quick read or would rather spend more time lost in history, Of Rags and Riches is the perfect book to curl up with and get lost in the Gilded Age.

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

Publisher’s Summary

Love Flourishes during America’s Gilded Age

Journey along in nine historical romances with those whose lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America’s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more. Watch as these romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed.

Union Pacific Princess by Jennifer Uhlarik – Cheyenne, Dakota Territory, 1867
In the hell-on-wheels rail town of Cheyenne, grieving Boston socialite Dara Forsythe must choose between her estranged father; Connor, a bigwig with the Union Pacific Railroad; and Gage Wells, a former Confederate sharpshooter bent on derailing the Transcontinental Railroad’s progress.

The Right Pitch by Susanne Dietze – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1876
Guarded industrialist Beck Emerson agrees to sponsor his sister’s all-female baseball team. But when pretty pitcher Winnie Myles throws a curveball that makes him team manager, it challenges his plan to play it safe in life and love.

A Gift in Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1871
May Bolen offers Sam Austin a marriage of convenience. He will get to run the company that drove his into bankruptcy, and she will be free from her father’s rule to travel the world. But when Sam meets May, he knows the offer is too good to be true—or convenient—when hearts become tangled.

For Richer or Poorer by Natalie Monk – Newark, New Jersey, 1885
In order to bring her starving family to New Jersey, Polish immigrant Marcella Lipski must marry wealth. So she takes Americanization lessons from the poor-but-mysterious cart driver teaching her English—and loses her heart in the process.

A House of Secrets by Michelle Griep – St. Paul, MN 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Win, Place, or Show by Erica Vetsch – New York City, 1890
Beryl Valentine, a socialite with a passion for horses, finds herself falling in love with her riding instructor, a man her parents will never accept. Will she follow her parents’ wishes, or let Gard Kennedy ride away with her heart?

The Fisherman’s Nymph by Jaime Jo Wright – Flambeau River, Wisconsin, 1890
The reclusive daughter of a fly-fisherman guide must read the waters for a wealthy gentleman’s sport and send him back where he belongs before he hooks her heart and takes her away from the river she was born to love.

The Gardener’s Daughter by Anne Love – Bay View, Michigan, 1895
When the nephew of a prestigious Chautauqua resort founder sets his eye on the new library assistant believing her an academy student, it will take more than reciting poetry for love to bloom when he learns she’s the humble gardener’s daughter.

A Tale of Two Hearts by Gabrielle Meyer – Little Falls, Minnesota, June 1899
Reputations and jobs are on the line when lady’s maid, Lucy Taylor, and neighboring footman, Elijah Boyer, compete against each other for a place of honor during the annual community appreciation event hosted by their wealthy employers.

GIVEAWAY!!!!!

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

I am now able to use my computer, so I decided to have a giveaway! (Of course, as you can guess, I’ll be spending the next several weeks trying to get caught up with everyone and everything I missed!!!!)

I received two paperbacks of To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander, therefore I am giving away one paperback copy!

***********GIVEAWAY***********

I have a copy of To Wager Her Heart to giveaway!

Leave a comment with an email address to enter the drawing.

Drawing will be open September 19th  to September  26th.

One name will be randomly drawn as winner.

Check Wednesday, September 27th  , to see if you won!

GOOD LUCK!

 This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, void where prohibited by law and you must be at least 18 to enter. The odds of winning depend on the number of comments received.

Blessings to everyone~

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

(Error updated to reflect I did not receive an e-book.)

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

My Review

Tamera Alexander’s To Wager Her Heart’s historical novel is replete with real characters and events. With slight literary license, she brings to life the stories of Belle Meade Plantation, Fisk University, Jubilee Singers, Philip Paul Bliss (composer and author of hymns), the Ashtabula River rail disaster and the Dutchman’s Curve train wreck.

The tapestry of the tale is woven so well, the lines between your real life and fiction become indistinct and blurred, causing you to wonder if you have stepped into the narrative or the characters have stepped out of it.

To Wager Her Heart is the third and final installment of the Belle Meade Plantation Novels. However, you will not miss anything as it can very easily be read as a stand-alone.

I received To Wager Her Heart from Zondervan Publishers and the author, Tamera Alexander. (Update: I also received a copy from The Fiction Guild) However, I was not obligated to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a powerful love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in American history when both were tenuous and hard-won.  

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father’s name. One man holds the key to Sy’s success–General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks.

Seeking justice . . .

Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancé–and has shattered her world.

Struggling to restore honor . . .    

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But family–and Nashville society–do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both.

Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it.

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams – provided the truth doesn’t tear them apart first.

 

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

My Review

The Writing Desk, by Rachel Hauck, opens by introducing us to Tenley Roth, a modern-day author. Tenley’s first novel was a blockbuster hit. However, now she is struggling to meet a deadline for her second novel.

We are then introduced to Elizabeth “Birdie” Shehorn, a young lady of the early 1900s who desperately wants to be an author.

Ms. Hauck has deftly interwoven two different eras into one compelling story.  As we travel back in time, our eyes are opened to the difficulties women, and in this case a young woman, had in being able to choose their avocation and suitor. Birdie’s mother was ruthless in her desire for Birdie to make a suitable marriage and would stop at almost nothing to achieve her goals for Birdie. Juxtaposed against Birdie’s life was Tenley’s. A modern day young woman. Tenley was able to make her own choices for her life. However, her fears held her hostage.

The secondary characters are well written and suitably fleshed out, causing you to either love or hate them as you get to know them for whom they are. Some of the situations of the key individuals are heart-wrenching. However, Ms. Hauck, without it seeming gratuitous, offers hope and encouragement through their faith, be it new or long-standing.

There are some adult situations, but they are not salacious. Nonetheless, I would caution parents to read the book first before allowing their teens to read it.

I received this book from NetGalley (I also received a copy yesterday, 8-8-17) from The Fiction Guild.  However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels

My Review

Carrie Fancett Pagels aptly transports us back in time to 1895’s Mackinac Island, Michigan, in My Heart Belongs in Mackinac Island:  Maude’s Mooring.

Maude Welling, her father and her little brother Jack are all still grieving the loss of their mother/wife, though each in very different ways. Maude is more determined than ever to take over the reins of Winds of Mackinac Inn, her father is just as determined she won’t and Jack is determined to become the fastest runner in the United States.

Ms. Pagels descriptive language leaves you feeling the sounds and sights of Mackinac Island, from the grandeur of The Grand Hotel to the impoverishment of the maids. As you read, you feel as if you have truly stepped back in time to a very different life and era. Plus, interspersed throughout the book are tidbits and gems of mystery, love and betrayal.

I enjoyed reading another of the My Heart Belongs collection, and the fact it was written by Ms. Pagels made it even more enjoyable.

I received this book from the author through NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey now to Mackinac Island where…
A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds.

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.

But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

Whispering Pines (The Langtry Sisters) by Scarlett Dunn

My Review

Rose Langtry’s trip home is anything but the expected. First, her brother is almost hung by her neighbor, Morgan LeMasters; then after securing her brother’s safety, Rose is injured in a horrific stage coach accident.

Morgan LeMasters can’t believe the injured beauty he rescues was once the little girl that feared him, nor that she so staunchly defends her cattle rustling thief of a brother.

I was instantly engrossed in Whispering Pines by Scarlett Dunn. The story doesn’t follow the usual formula of romance and love. Instead, it is compelling and eventful.  There are scenes of suspense, intrigue and revenge and also scenes of faith, forgiveness and love. Some scenes are horribly disturbing and grisly. However, they perfectly illustrate the depravity of one character. Also, a few segments are borderline risque.

I fell in love with “Granny,” Rose’s grandmother, who raised her. She is tough and resilient and loves those around her mightily. Most of the main characters’ love her too and call her Granny, even though they aren’t related to her.

Whispering Pines is the first book in The Langtry Sisters collection. In this novel, we briefly glimpse the other two sisters, Adelaide and Emma, creating anticipation for the next two installments.

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

Publisher’s Summary

In Scarlett Dunn’s heartfelt inspirational series, three sisters return home to beautiful, enigmatic Whispering Pines, Colorado, and discover the men who’ll claim their love . . .

As a young girl, Rose Langtry feared her gruff, handsome rancher neighbor. Coming back to Colorado after five years, she’s outraged to find Morgan LeMasters ready to hang her brother for rustling and theft. But when the resulting skirmish leaves her injured, Morgan’s tender care turns her unease to unexpected closeness . . . and admiration.

Stopping Frankie Langtry and his gang has long been Morgan’s priority, yet he can’t resist Rose’s pleas for mercy. As brave and spirited as she is soft-hearted, Rose needs support to keep her family farm from going under, and a marriage of convenience will provide it. Morgan hardly dares admit, even to himself, his longing for a deeper, truer union. But her brother’s grudge is bringing danger back to Whispering Pines, and it’ll take forgiveness, courage—and a bond built on faith—to create a family and a future together . . .