Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Trouble Blows West by Monique Bucheger

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About the Book

Book: Trouble Blows West

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Mid-grade, blended family, horses

Release Date: April 13, 2012

Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12
year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong. She quickly learns that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Pierce likes being knocked down by one.

When Pierce seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a payback prank at Pierce’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Pierce has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll. Realizing he’s a boy in big trouble, Ginnie decides to be his ally, because he won’t let her be his friend.

 My Thoughts:

I read the first book in this series and was excited to read this one.  I really grew to like Ginnie in the first book and she grew on me even more in this one.  She has her moments (think typical preteen) and they are so authentic that you know the author has been around some girls in that age range.

I love where Ginnie's heart is in this book.  She could annoy me but she is always trying to help and make things better for others.  Pierce, his story hurt my heart and reminded me of too many other kids I knew growing up.  Heartbreaking.  The author did a good job with touchy topics and made all the characters realistic.  It was a really good book.

It was a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12
children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.

 

More from Monique

Hello Everybody,

I’d like to welcome you to the second book in my Ginnie West Adventure Series: Trouble Blows West. The journey to writing this book started a long time ago as a promise to my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Marion Joyce Johnson.

It took me longer than I planned to start the series, but has been a fun adventure.

Because Mrs. Johnson was such an inspiration to me, I made her a character in this book, Trouble Blows West to help my main character, Ginnie, nicknamed, “Trouble”, who gets into quite a pickle and needs a little help turning things around.

On page 2Ginnie gets on the wrong side of the biggest bully in 6th grade. Pierce Owens goes after Ginnie’s twin brother, Toran. Ginnie knocks Pierce on his rear in front of the entire cafeteria—causing a big problem for Ginnie, Toran, and Pierce.

The bigger problem though, is the reader finds out fairly quickly that Pierce is being abused at home. Ginnie and Toran don’t find out right away—but when they do, they decide to be Pierce’s ally—because Pierce won’t let them be his friend.

My real-life teacher, Mrs. Johnson, used to speak with a cockney accent on occasion. She is American born, but was stationed in the United Kingdom with her husband and two sons, one of which is Astronaut, Col. (Retired USAF) Gregory H. Johnson, who piloted the Space Shuttle Endeavor twice.

I reached out to Greg earlier this year and he graciously met me on a zoom and has called and texted with me as I have revamped Trouble Blows West, into an audiobook with my very talented narrator, Hillary Straga. We decided to have Mrs. Johnson, the character, voiced with a cockney accent to make her “pop.”

Greg, his brother, Gary, and I talked on a number of occasions as I edited this book  to make the character, Mrs. Johnson, an even more authentic representation of their mother. Part of that story is told in my expanded dedication of the book to Mrs. Johnson as well as in Col. Greg Johnson’s Foreword at the beginning of the book.

Trouble Blows West explores the hard reality of child abuse in an age appropriate way. Several teachers have read this book with their classrooms and shared with me that they have had great conversations on all aspects of bullying and being bullied, as well as what to do if you suspect someone is being abused.

As a former foster mom of over 100 kids, part of the reason I write the Ginnie West series is to empower kids being abused as well as encourage kids and adults alike to know they have the power to change their own stars.

My hope is that the story presented in Trouble Blows West will spark the courage some need to let their voice be heard, to make a difference in their own life, or in the life of someone who needs some help.

And believe it or not, kindness and humor are powerful tools that make life worth living. If you have to choose between being kind or being right, choose kindness.

Laugh lots, love much, write on!

Monique Bucheger

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Blogging With Carol, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Inklings and notions, November 22

Artistic Nobody, November 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 26

Through the Fire Blogs, November 27

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 28

deb’s Book Review, November 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 30

Mary Hake, November 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 2

Vicky Sluiter, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or Kobo gift card!!

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/103ef/trouble-blows-west-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, November 30, 2020

Georgia Ann, English Rose by Elva Cobb Martin

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About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020


Two Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

 My Thoughts:

I haven't read a book like this in forever and this is exactly the read I needed.  This is the second in a series but can be read as a stand alone.  A good swashbuckling tale with a spunky female lead?  Count me in.  I loved Georgia Ann.  She was just a great.

Samuel was a great leading man as well.  He wants adventure and this book has plenty of it.  There are twists and turn, oh and did I mention romance?  There is romance and it was done wonderfully well.  I just truly enjoyed the whole story.

It was a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her


husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

 

More from Elva

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

 

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and they lie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

 

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

 

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economy from the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

 

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

 

Cloves

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

 

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

 

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

 

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

 

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by.  And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

 

Elva Cobb Martin

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 24

Betti Mace, November 25

Labor Not in Vain , November 25

Daysong Reflections, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elva is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

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About the Book

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September, 2020

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for


Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

 My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this historical romance.  Richard is not a man that Arabella believes she wants to associated with.  His mother has summoned him home and threatened to cut him off.  I love the settings the author described.  It made me feel ready for Christmas.

Though they were childhood friends, Arabella doesn't trust Richard.  He isn't looking for anything serious and she just wants to work on her charities.  I loved the way the story unfolded, and how endearing the characters were.  I just loved the book.

It was a 5/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

More from Julie

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!

 

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Christian Bookaholic, November 30

Andrea Christenson, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Robin’s Nest, December 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Blessed & Bookish, December 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Mia Reads, December 2

Wishful Endings, December 3

lakesidelivingsite, December 3

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 3

Just Your Average reviews, December 3

She Lives To Read, December 4

Remembrancy, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 4

Writing from the Heart Land, December 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5

Quiet Workings, December 5

Blogging With Carol, December 5

Spoken from the Heart, December 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

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/103f5/an-ivy-hill-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway