Spotlight on Rebecca Kanner and …

02_Sinners and the SeaSinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah’s Wife 

BOOK BLURB: The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.

But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beauti­fully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.

BUY LINKS: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Audible.com / B & N / Book Depository / iTunes

Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Howard Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD

 GIVEAWAY: 1 Print copy/ 1 Winner open to US only.

03_Rachel KannerAbout the Author: Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.

Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.

You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at www.rebeccakanner.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tour Hashtag: #SinnersandtheSeaTour

‘The Heiress’s Homecoming’ by Regina Scott

THIC RSSTORY: Terms of the Will

To keep her cherished childhood home, Samantha Everard must marry by her twenty-fifth birthday. Yet she refuses to marry on a whim, not even to save her fortune. When she returns to Dallsten Manor to say goodbye, the last person she expects to see is her handsome, disapproving neighbor William Wentworth, Earl of Kendrick.

Will is certain the scandalous Everard family is nothing but trouble. He shouldn’t care about Samantha’s predicament, but her feistiness and kindheartedness intrigue him—as does her refusal to wed. He wants to help, especially when he perceives the threat that surrounds her. Soon his greatest wish is to persuade Samantha that her true home is with him.

REVIEW: Lady Samantha Everard is quickly approaching her 25th birthday.  According to the instructions for the inheritance of her home Dallsten Manor, she has to marry by her then or lose her home.  She refuses to do so and has decided to visit the Manor one last time as she is ready to let the fortune go.

Her neighbor William Wentworth, the Earl of Kendrick, does not understand why she would choose to lose her home.  His teenage son, Jamie, was a childhood friend of Samantha and now fancies himself in love with her and wants to marry her.  William and his wife married when they were teenagers.  Sadly, she passed away giving birth to Jamie.  Since then, he has had no desire to remarry.

Intrigued by Samantha and her independent ways, William wants to get to know her better.  However, danger lurks.  Someone does not want Samantha to inherit and suddenly she starts being attacked.  Who is this person that wants to see her dead and why?  How does Samantha handle Jamie’s teenage love for her in addition to the growing attraction between her and William?

This was a great plot with intriguing twists that really keeps the reader’s interest.  It is a Christian novel as well.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by my local Library

Cover Reveal for ‘THE ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE’ by Annette Haws

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Nina Rushforth was born with a silver spoon caught in her throat. She and her father have mapped out a future that includes a brilliant legal career, a marriage to an equally stellar attorney or Wall Street whiz kid, and eventually the production of three perfect children. A semester at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, was part of the plan, but falling in love with a handsome missionary was not.

Six months later, after Elliot returns from his mission and after a tumultuous courtship, Nina finds herself teaching at a junior high school, learning to keep house in a minuscule apartment, and living with a man who doesn’t know any more about being married than she does. Intimacy, cooking, laundry, lesson plans, and a tug-of-war with a possessive mother-in-law prove to be more overwhelming than Nina can successfully manage. The newlyweds awaken to realize the head on the adjacent pillow belongs to a stranger.

This novel captures the heartbreak of young love caught in the turbulent social crosscurrents of the 70’s, at a time when brave women struggled to find dignity and equality in the workplace, as well as peace at home.

Publication Date: December 10, 2013

ISBN: 9781462113743

Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing

Buy links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble:

Praise for THE ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE:

“A thoughtful, heartbreaking, and often laugh-out-loud romp… Annette Haws explores the interesting question: What keeps a marriage together?”

Terrell Dougan, a columnist for the Huffington Post and the author of That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for my Sister

“Haws delivers a story that makes you want to rush to the end to find out what happens and prose that makes you want to slow down and savor it.”

Karey White, author of For What It’s Worth, Gifted, and My Own Mr. Darcy

“If you want a story with plot, character and real, deep meaning that will leave you thinking long after you’re done, this is the book for you.”

Shannon Guymon, author of Do Over

GIVEAWAY: A  $25 PAYPAL  cash [MUST click on-->> a Rafflecopter giveaway].

Annette HawsAUTHOR BIO: Annette Haws’s literary strengths are based upon her experiences in the classroom. She began her teaching career as a junior high teacher in Richmond, Utah and ended it teaching Sophomore English at Murray High School in Salt Lake City. However, her favorite assignment was a five year period at Logan High School teaching English, coaching debate and mock trial, and watching the antics of her own three children who were also students in the same school.

Her first novel, Waiting for the Light to Change, won Best of State in 2009, A Whitney Award for Best Fiction, and the Diamond Quill Award for Best Published Fiction in 2009 from the League of Utah Writers. In July of 2008, the Midwest Book Review selected it as a Top Pick for Community Library Fiction Collections.

Social Media Links: Facebook / Website / Blog / Goodreads / Book on Goodreads

Spotlight on Jennifer Delamere and…

A Lady Most Lovely

[Book 2 of Love's Grace Series]

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BOOK BLURB: Socialite Margaret Vaughn is the wealthiest heiress in London-or so everybody thinks. Saddled with debt left by her father, she agrees to marry a rich man who can save her family’s estate. But when her fiancé turns out to be just another poor social climber, Margaret faces financial ruin-and social humiliation. Just when she thinks all is lost, she finds an unlikely angel in Tom Poole . . .

After amassing a fortune in the gold fields of Australia and surviving a harrowing shipwreck, Tom Poole is the toast of London society. Yet despite his newfound fame, he’s never forgotten his own humble beginnings. When he learns of Margaret’s plight, he offers her financial assistance-but his interest is not strictly business. Taken with her beauty and grace, the rugged adventurer wants nothing more than to win Margaret’s heart. But can he convince the proper, refined lady that, despite their social differences, they are a match made in heaven?

REVIEW: Margaret Vaughn is a lovely woman known in the social circles of London to be a very wealthy heiress.  Privately, she is not what she seems as she is heavily in debt from her late father’s reckless gambling and spending.  She has accepted a marriage proposal from the dashing and handsome Paul Denault and is hoping that his wealth will help her pay off her debts.  She soon learns that Paul is not the wealthy man he claimed to be but a man looking for someone to marry to pay off his own debts.

Tom Poole is new to London having recently arrived from Australia.  While there, he became very wealthy from his finds in the gold fields.  A self-made man who came from a lower social class, he prides himself on knowing how hard it is to work and make your own money and to remember that others are not as well off as he became.

When Tom meets Margaret at a social event, he is drawn to her beauty and grace.  Tom, unaware of her debts, steps in to woo Margaret after she and Paul call off their engagement.  

Having been burned by Paul’s deception, she is skeptical as she is unsure of whether Tom is truly drawn to her and not to her supposed wealth.

When Margaret meets the members of Tom’s family and sees the loving closeness of them all, she finds a unity she has not known.  However, scandal lurks and threatens Tom’s family.  He will do whatever he can to protect them.

I so enjoyed the family closeness and Christian ways expressed in this story.  This is the second novel of Jennifer Delamere.  Her first was “An Heiress at Heart” which I enjoyed immensely.  I look forward to more great reading from this talented author.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by the author. 

Out NOW: Amazon / B&N

An Heiress at Heart

[Book 1 of Love's Grace Series]

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BOOK BLURB: A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she’s finally returning home, but she’s still living a secret life. Her best friend Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville’s world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he’s invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother’s young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her façade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?

Out NOW: Amazon / B&N

MINI REVIEW: Lizzie Poole is a young woman born on the other side of the sheets.  She is fascinated by a man named Freddie with whom she runs away to experience a life of fun.

After much abuse from him, she flees and ends up in Australia where she meets a young couple who had fled there to experience another kind of life. Lizzie becomes instant friends with Edward and Ria. Lizzie and Ria look so much alike that they could be twins. Edward is killed during a robbery and Ria also knows she is dying and asks Lizzie to return to England and take over her identity. Lizzie does just that and finds herself constantly challenged to be the woman she truly isn’t.

Slowly, she finds herself falling in love with Geoffrey, the new Lord Somerville. But then, Freddie reappears and knowing her secret identity, tries to expose her. 

This was a well-written novel and the first one by Jennifer Delamere.  I enjoyed reading it and look forward to more from her.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by my local library.

MY REVIEW: here.

Jennifer DelamereAUTHOR BIO: Jennifer Delamere has traveled widely both as a child and an adult, and remains of the firm opinion that just about anyplace is worth visiting if you’ve never been there before. Jennifer earned her B.A. in English from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she also gained her fluency in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports.

She’s been an editor of educational materials for over a decade. An avid reader of both classic novels and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books.

‘A Duke’s Promise’ by Jamie Carie

ADP JCSTORY: From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her husband has promised a wedding trip to take them to the place where her imperiled parents were last seen — Italy and the marble caves of Carrara — but a powerful Italian duke plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured by Gabriel’s affliction to the breaking point, they must learn to work and fight together. The mysterious key is within their grasp, but they have yet to recognize it. This journey will require steadfast faith in God and each other — a risk that will win them everything they want or lose them everything they have.

REVIEW: This is the third and last book in the Forgotten Castles series; book one, ‘The Guardian Duke’ and book two, ‘The Forgiven Duke’ must be read before you read this third installment. None of the books are stand alone, unless you read the first one which ends in a cliffhanger.

I liked the first one very much, then I was very disappointed in the second one, and that disappointment extended to this third book as well.

I did find the character of Gabriel Ravenwood, Duke of St Easton well written and three-dimensional, but the heroine, Alexandria, I found to be only two-dimensional and not much likable.

Plot wise I found the first book somewhat believable and inspirational, while the second and the third I thought just too far-fetched and despite action, intrigue and lukewarm romance, I found it totally unbelievable.

These three books should have never offered to the readers as a series, but as one book. I believe it would have read better and wouldn’t feel forced and rushed.

I honestly wouldn’t recommend it or the series.

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by publisher through NetGalley.

‘The Heiress of Winterwood’ by Sarah Ladd

THOW SLSTORY: Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting to her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.

REVIEW: Amelia Barrett is a young woman who lost her parents at an early age and was raised by her uncle at the estate known as Winterwood Manor.

The novel opens with Amelia caring for the orphaned baby of her friend Katherine, who passed away right after the birth of baby Lucy.  Amelia has come to love Lucy as her own and wants to raise her at Winterwood.  

In order to not lose the estate, Amelia gets betrothed to Edward Littleton to make sure she would keep her inheritance. Sadly, Edward Littleton has told her that when they marry, Lucy can’t be living at Winterwood and Amelia realizes that he’s only after her money.  

Captain Graham Sterling, Lucy’s father, is returning to his brother’s home, Eastmore Hall, which adjoins Winterwood and while looking forward to finally meeting his daughter, he’s still grieving the loss of his wife.  

As Amelia finally meets Captain Sterling, she proposes that they wed so she can keep Lucy at Winterwood and keep the estate. However, Mr. Littleton is not letting her and the wealth of the estate go without a fight.

When Lucy disappears and a ransom note arrives, Amelia and Graham face frightening events in their fight to get her back. 

This is a lovely novel with religious undertones.  I understand it is the author’s début novel and I applaud her talent for writing a book that will keep the reader’s interest from the first page until the last.  I look forward to more of her novels.

Connie Fischer for b2b

‘The Forgiven Duke’ by Jamie Carie

TFD JCSTORY: Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon – the path of least resistance – Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton – the path less traveled by – on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

REVIEW: First, there are three books in this series and none are stand alone. Once you’re done reading the first, which ends with a cliffhanger, you have to go to the second and third to find out what happens next.

This is the second book of this series and it starts off right at the ‘cliffhanger’ of the first one as the Duke catches the glimpse of his charge and a man she’s with on the ship bound to Iceland, of whose destination, or for that matter the man’s identity, the Duke is unaware of and must now find out.

Let me start by saying that I just loved the first book, ‘The Guardian Duke’, very much and thought it such a clever ending, albeit very frustrating because there was no happy ending for our Duke and his charge.

As I kept reading this book, the only thing I felt was irritation at the heroine for her indecision about the two men she’s deliberately and stubbornly dangling on a string.

I also felt that what seemed a clever idea to end the first one with a cliffhanger, now rendered the second book less relevant and reduced it as ‘filler’ until the third came along and tied it all together.

As for the characters, and I am including everyone  here, they all now felt forced and placed in situations that were unbelievable and uncharacteristic of their own selves.

In all honesty this second book was riddled with plot holes and I should have hoped that the Editors would have pointed it out to the author. Ms. Carie without a doubt has a talent for storytelling, but it definitely needs some ‘tuning’ and ‘tweaking’.

Now of to the third one and my hope is that the last one is more in tune with the first book…

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.