1// A Character who can/likes to cook:
1// A Character who can/likes to cook:
For some reason, no matter what I try, most of the pictures are refusing to come up, for which I apologize!! Keep reading for info on this new book and the giveaway! And you can see the pictures here.
Have you ever had a hard time loving someone? I think everyone probably has at one time in their life. But what would your life be like if you’ve never had the courage to love anyone? Faith Blum explores that idea in her new book, He Hideth My Soul.
He’s never had the courage to love anyone…
The only thing Otis Miller has ever wanted to be is a doctor and he wants to be the best. A surprise talk with his Aunt Eleanor days before his twenty-first birthday leads to a visit from his grandfather’s lawyer and the discovery that he is the heir to a large fortune. With all the papers signed, Otis heads to Chicago to follow his dream.
After graduating from Jenner Medical School, Otis goes to the mine he owns in Colorado to see how things are and to provide medical care for everyone in town. He finds horrible working conditions and learns to make difficult decisions that will be best for all
Will Otis learn to let God cover him in the depths of His love? Can Otis hide in God’s presence whenever he doesn’t know where to go next?
Note: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans organization.
Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and spend time with her husband. She lives in Wisconsin in a small town with her husband and cat where she can write to her heart’s content during the day. Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ.
Faith is giving away three prizes! The grand prize is a paperback of her new book. First and second prizes are both an eBook of He Hideth My Soul. Enter here for the chance to win!
Otis woke up earlier than usual the next morning. He didn’t know why, but he didn’t question it. He grabbed his Bible and the candle on the nightstand and headed out to the back porch.
He sat down on the top step, lit the candle, and held his Bible up to its light. Otis flipped open to the bookmarked passage, or tried to, but it opened up to Galatians five instead. He read the whole chapter, but verses 19˗24 really jumped out at him:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
“Envyings, wrath, strife, and seditions,” he whispered. “Father, you know how much I envy Joshua and Priscilla and their beautiful family. I’m sorry. I never fully realized how wrong it was. Help me to trust in Your timing for a family of my own.
“I don’t know what’s going on with Joshua and Priscilla, but You do. Help them resolve this issue. If there’s any way I can help, please let me be open and willing.”
He read, studied, and prayed until the candle became useless, then he set the candle and Bible aside and went to the barn to do the chores. If he got really lucky, he could even start the coffee before Priscilla got up.
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections – Post from the author
Bookish Orchestration – Giveaway winner post
Today I want to share a more personal lesson – an experience I recently went through, and what God showed me during it. Yes, the subject is Hope. There are a great many lovely songs and Bible verses centered around this word. It is, indeed, an inspiring word. But previously, I hadn’t really ‘attached’ to it as much as I have now.
As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I have long battled with Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and it shadows a lot of my life experiences, over-arcing into many areas of my life. It’s rather boring to talk about, but it does play a significant role in my journey.
One night recently, I had been struggled with my “sensory-issues” in the form of clothing. As is typical for me, I was having an awful time adjusting to how the clothing felt on my skin. Each clothing article felt just terrible, and I was dealing with some other struggles that were majorly stressing me. I was in tears, and just a mess. With my dear mom’s encouragement I went upstairs to try to pray about it all – just take all my stresses, worries, and uncomfortableness to our Lord.
I’ve experienced a lot of amazing healing from Him throughout my life. God is good. But as I sat at my desk that I night, I wasn’t feeling a major feeling of healing. I still felt low. Yes, I felt His awe-some presence, but I didn’t feel healed, and that’s what I wanted.
I flipped through the pages of my Bible, pouring out my heart as I went, and the word ‘hope’ stood out in almost every verse I “randomly” came upon. But honestly, I still felt downcasted. The verses were good, but weren’t really sticking to me. I reached for my last prayer-journal and again opened randomly, praying that I would turn to a page that would help me, minister to me. ( My prayer-journals aren’t entirely filled with prayers – in fact, they’re mostly verses I write down or things God has shown me, so I guess I should probably rename them. ;))
Sure enough, I turned right to an entry I had made in May of 2017, where I was once again writing out whatever my current struggle was and what the Lord showed me. Right at the top of that entry was the verse featured in the graphic above.
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Good Hope Through Grace.
I re-copied the verse into my current prayer-journal and emphasized that phrase. Good hope. Through Grace.
I’d like to share what our Almighty Father spoke to my heart then:
“Hope, My child. Trust is good and vital, but also hope. Do not forget to hope in Me. Hope is a way in despair. Hope is the companion in sorrow. Hope in Me.”
And then He led me to write out my struggles but beside each one write: “Hope in Him”. Over and over. Hope. Let Him complete. He soothed me again with His words, “As you weep and as you cry, remember your hope in Me. Fight for it. Cleave to it; for through it you cleave to Me. Sorrow, but hope.”
The realization, the reminder, that hope is a companion in sorrow was profound to me. Hope does not take away our sorrow – it does not change our situation, but it makes a way through them. It lightens our burden, and eases our spirits. It is the light in the darkness. I pray we can all comprehend it and not turn away from it.
So, I sat there, tears still marking my face, pain still hurting inside, and my clothes feeling awful. But Hope. “Hope in Me”, He says. Hope is our companion as we sorrow – and we will sorrow. We are not promised good days all of the time. But we are promised His grace, and His Hope. Hope eternal. Forever, and always.
It’s hard, though – and that, I believe whole-heartedly, is why He said we had to fight for it, and cleave to it. The world and all its trials will try to rip it away from us. But we have to fight to keep it, fight to hold on to it, to cleave to it. For through it, we cleave to Him.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Ps. 43:5)
If you are sorrowing, my friends, remember to Hope. Hope that the Lord is here, hope that He is our consolation, our greatest reward, and He will remove us from our troubles – one day. Hope that He is GREAT, and all-powerful. And He is Lord.
A Novella Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Belle’s father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince’s wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.
Happy Valentine’s Day :) I’ve got a special treat today – a book cover reveal plus a giveaway!!!
I love seeing new book covers – don’t you? They are so exciting! And this one is beautiful. Each of the books apart of the “Shadows Over England” series by Roseanna M. White have been lovely! And so I’m thrilled to be able to share this new cover with you, readers! So, before we get to the cover…how about the backcover blurb?
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.
And now for what we’ve all been waiting for……
It’s lovely, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to reading it!!
The series together looks gorgeous too:
Which is your favourite cover? I think I’d have to say my favourite is…. “A Name Unkown” – what can I say, I’m a sucker for books! :) But they are each utterly lovely.
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway HERE!!
About the author:
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Welcome to the first monthly “Character Introduction” post, featuring Willa Forsythe from “A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White! The idea behind this post is just to spotlight the character a bit, give a little description of her personality, and for fun, a few books I’d recommend to her if I could. ^.^ Enjoy!
She is a prodigy–and a thief.
Stubborn. She’s “Willa-ful” :), but has a fierce love for her family and a strong passion for her music. Her music-playing is pretty much unmatched, and she’s…snarky. Impossible perhaps, but loveable all the same. Daring, and comes across as fearless. In “A Song Unheard” we see her struggle with some feelings of mistrust, insecurities, and fear, and yet she still remains such a strong character, growing even more throughout the story.
Books I’d recommend to her:
You can find more about Willa Forsythe and her background in “A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White, which I definitely recommend! If interested, you can also read my review here.
(*The image of “Willa” is taken from Roseanna M. White’s Pinterest just for the fun of it. I do not claim any rights to it.)
Review copy through BookLook Bloggers
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” – in the 1960’s – by hopping a train. Non-trusting, uneducated, and violent, he spent another 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.
Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high priced art deals — concerned with fast cars, beautiful women, and fancy clothes.
And the woman who changed their lives — Miss Debbie: “The skinniest, nosiest, pushiest, woman I ever met, black or white.” She helped the homeless and gave of herself to all of “God’s People,” and had a way of knowing how to listen and helping others talk and be found – until cancer strikes.
Same Kind of Different as Me is a tale told in two unique voices – Ron Hall & Denver Moore – weaving two completely different life experiences into one common journey where both men learn “whether we is rich or poor or something in between this earth ain’t no final restin’ place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin’ our way toward home.”
The story takes a devastating twist when Deborah discovers she has cancer. Will Deborah live or die? Will Denver learn to trust a white man? Will Ron embrace his dying wife’s vision to rescue Denver? Or will Denver be the one rescuing Ron? There’s pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.
This biography/autobiography is written in first person and reads slightly like a fiction title. Each chapter alternates between each man, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, as they tell their stories and how their life-paths entwined to form a strong bond of friendship. In the beginning, they are about as opposite as opposite can be, but over their life-experiences, they realize they have more in common than originally thought, and it is Ron’s wife, Deborah that urged them together.
It was an interesting book. I liked a lot of the spiritual lessons Denver spoke about – had I sticky notes with me when I read, I would’ve marked a few down. He spoke it how it was, and experienced some profound truths.
Deborah left an amazing legacy. Her devotion to help those in need was inspiring, and she followed God’s path for her life tirelessly.
This book has some heart-breaking moments, and some beautiful memorable passages as well.
The changing chapters with the different perspectives was hard to adjust to at first because there wasn’t anything to differentiate from the other and in the beginning you obviously don’t know their individual voices yet. But once I got a few chapters in, I was able to differentiate with ease.
Book Two in the Shadows Over England series
Review copy from the author/publishers as apart of the Launch Team.
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I–to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.
Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won–until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.
But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t–that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.
“We are in God’s hands, and God’s alone. War is knocking on our door, and it is bigger than any of us. But the Lord is bigger than war. He will take care of us, if it is His will. And if it is not, then it will be to His glory. Rest in Him.” – words from Lukas’ mother’s letter.
*Read an interview with the author, Roseanna M. White HERE. And stay tuned for this next Monday, where Willa Forsythe will get her own post. :) Also….pop in on Valentine’s Day to see a special cover reveal!! Lots of fun!
Hello readers! I’m very excited to share about one of my planned monthly features – an author interview! And I will be opening this new feature with none other than Roseanna M. White! Her latest book, “A Song Unheard” just released last month, and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful story. I am thoroughly enjoying the Shadows Over England series, and am looking forward to the next book in line, “Time Unspent”. :)
So without further ado, let’s begin!
Welcome to my “Peculiar” Blog! I’m so happy to have you here :) Please introduce yourself and what you write:
Thanks so much for having me, Raechel! I’m Roseanna M. White, and I write historical romance, usually with a thread of suspense or intrigue or mystery. My current series is set in the early days of World War One, in England.
Of your books, is there a character that you relate best to? And if so, why?
A combination of two. =) My personality is very much like Ella from A Lady Unrivaled, the last book in my previous series, Ladies of the Manor. By a lot me also worked its way into my novelist-hero in A Name Unknown, first book in this newest series.
Of your latest series, “Shadows Over England”, the first two books have their own theme – “A Name Unknown” being books, and “A Song Unheard” being music. Is there one pastime you prefer over the other?
Um…I guess if it came down to it, books—whether reading them or writing them—are my deepest passion. But I do love music. I’ve been playing piano since I was seven, and that’s where I turn when I’m anxious or nervous and need to kind of tune in (ha ha) to the Lord and find peace.
I have heard that many authors have their own interesting writing quirk – do you have one? If so, would you mind sharing?
I don’t think I’m terribly quirky about my writing…I don’t think. It’s generally just me, my laptop, the kitchen table, and exactly two cups of coffee a day. Though I do tend to zone out when in the groove, and my family has learned that they often need to repeat things several times before I actually hear them…
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both, LOL, depending on the day, the project, and whether I’m in a good groove or just working hard under a deadline.
How important to you is the faith-element in your writing?
I’ve just been thinking about this! It’s vitally important. While I wrote a few novels back during college that I wanted to aim at the general market, I decided then that I just couldn’t do that—I couldn’t put them out there because I didn’t feel like they glorified God. I don’t regret writing them—they helped me grow as a writer—but writing for me is a calling and ministry, so if faith isn’t a part of it, then it’s a fail. Now, other writers have different callings, and I applaud that! Some are called to write in the general market, others view writing as a job and not a ministry, so I have no beef with them either, LOL. But for me, writing is all about faith. I feel like I’m robbing the story of its vitality if I leave out the faith element.
What does your family think of your writing?
My parents and sister were always fully supportive and never minded me disappearing into my room where paper and pens called to me. My husband knew from the get-go that to love me was to support my passion, and he has been an AMAZING champion, going so far as to start a publishing company to help me achieve my dreams (WhiteFire now published 30 other authors too, which goes to show to degree of his awesomeness). As I enter each new stage of this writing life, he goes out of his way to make me successful, whether that means annual writing retreats with my best friend, conferences, or a weekly writing day away from the house. My kids have never known any other mama, LOL, so while they occasionally groan that I’m writing another book instead of playing Mario with them, they also love stories and are learning how much dedication it takes to chase a dream. Plus my daughter spends much of her own time drawing and writing, so I’ve definitely rubbed off! (The boy-child, not so much, LOL. Yet.)
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
That your path is your own, and it’s exactly the one the Lord wants for you. You’ll never be Francine Rivers or Lori Wick or [fill in the blank], but that’s okay. You’ll be you, and you’ll discover things about God and yourself through this journey that is worth far more than the biggest royalty check in the world.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Oh dear. Um… I have 17 finished manuscripts that are unpublished. (Some of them are earlier versions of what became The Ladies of the Manor Series, so they will definitely never be published in their original form. Others are the aforementioned general market ones that will never see the light of day. And others I still hope to find homes for eventually!) As for incomplete ones…not they’re all even half finished, but I have about 50 files in my “WIPs” folder. Most of them will probably languish there forever, but I do occasionally go back in and “steal” some characters or plot for contracted books, LOL. (Lukas De Wilde, for instance, was totally stolen from Giovanni, the hero of a book I wrote in college called To Dance with Lightning. Which title I also intend to steal at some point too, LOL.)
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Wow. Well, most of my friends at this point are other authors, including my very bestest friend ever, Stephanie Morrill. Stephanie writes young adult novels—we met at our first ACFW conferences, where we were both pregnant and had matching bags, which sparked conversation. We became critique partners afterward and soon got to the point where every stray thought must be shared. We just realized last fall when those kids we’d been pregnant with turned ten that it’s been a DECADE since we met! At that point in time, we were both unpublished. Now we’ve both worked with several different publishers, tried the indie/small press route, and gone through quite a lot of ups and downs together.
Stephanie makes me look at things differently, is always there to help brainstorm, all that fun stuff. But I think what I appreciate most about her critiquing is that she knows when to say, “No, that’s not what you meant to happen here. You meant her to do this.” And she’s inevitably right. Beyond that, Stephanie is also an avid reader of craft and industry books (which I am not) and will share new things she learns (I so appreciate that!) and we hold each other accountable. I can’t imagine being on this journey without her!
And lastly, would you recommend a book that my readers might like if they’ve read your Shadows Over England series?
Absolutely! If they’re looking for the same era, they should check out books by Carrie Turansky. If they want similar style in historicals but not necessarily Edwardian/WWI, then I can’t recommend Laura Franz or Lori Benton enough. And if they want to advance a bit more into modern time, definitely check out Stephanie’s The Lost Girl of Astor Street!
Thank you so very much, Mrs.White!
That was a fantastic interview – I love the faith-element answer, as well as what she’d tell her younger writer-self. So beautiful, and relateable for me too. I hope you enjoyed this interview, too, readers! Check back next Monday for a spotlight of “A Song Unheard”s main character, Willa Forsythe!
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. Find out more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com and get exclusive content when you sign up for her newsletter.
*Some images were taken from google/pixabay, but some were provided by the author, or created by me.
January is over. And I guess I am kind of sad…I really like January. ^.^ Good thing I like February too. I’ll start crying or panicking when the end of March rolls by….and my precious Winter slips away….
So! How was your January everyone? Did the first month of the new year start out well for you? I hope so. :)
The month found us slowly trying to slip back into a semblance of a routine. As life quiets down some, it takes a little bit of time to really adjust to a routine, but I’m happy we’re finally finding it. I’m not a fan of chaos. :) I know sometimes we can’t avoid it, and we must find God through the chaos, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thankful for a quiet routine.
Some highlights of the month….well, I adopted a new cat into the house. Yes, yes I did.
(This is probably true…)
Why would I do that, you might ask if you knew our current tally of indoor cats? Well, dearest darling Pirate Kitty (yes, you read that absolutely correctly. I mean, I assume you did. I’m not actually hearing your pronounce it because of the internet and all that, but we’ll go with it) is a blind kitty. She was an outside cat, whom I loved. But her eyesite kept getting worse (it started out with her just not seeing out of one eye. Hence her name), and she could barely see her food bowl and therefore wasn’t eating much. So after prayer and consideration, I decided to use my saved up money and brought her in to the vet, and now she’s inside. She’s a bit….umm…wild. But adorable. And terrified of life and our other cats. Because frankly, two of our other cats are mean to her, poor dear. So our month has been filled with a lot of kitty-issues….but I’m so glad she is inside where it’s warm and she can have food whenever she wants. :)
I had a bit of a slow reading month. Only four books. I was really hoping to squeeze more in there, as I’m woefully behind on my review-book-pile, but I’m also learning to give myself grace especially in this aspect. The books will all get read. All reviewed. It just might take a bit of time.
These are the books I enjoyed:
Clicking on their covers will bring you to their reviews, if applicable. The first three have been reviewed/posted, but I am still working on finishing the review of the last one. :)
As for books I added to my collection….
The three standing up on the left are books I got in a couple swaps, the five lying flat are review books, the three standing on top of those and the one on the right are books from our library-book-sale, except for “Hearts Entwined” which I won in a giveaway. :)
I want to read allllll of them. I just need more time to fit them all in. XD
And I realized I never posted the pictures I took of the books I got LAST month…so I guess I’ll include them here, because I love pictures of books. ^.^
So, there we have it. Books, books, books. Plenty of reading to last me till I’m 50! ;)
ALSO! Before I leave off… you might remember this post from a few days ago:
In that post, I mentioned upcoming posts, and I want to announce that I’ve devised a posting schedule which is quite new for this blog! God-willing, I shall post every Monday. These posts will be varied, and most likely not reviews. My review posts will go live during the week as I have them ready to post.
And this coming Monday, February 5th, we start off the new schedule with something very, very exciting!!! An… Author Interview!! Yessiree. So stick around for that, because it’s a good one. :D
This is what you can look forward to from my new posting schedule:
First Monday: Author Interview
Second Monday: Character Post
Third Monday: Devotional
Fourth Monday: Open-catagory – this is the day where I will post whatever random thing is on my mind. ;)
So, February is my trial-run for this schedule, but I do hope to make it a permanant thing. I’m pretty excited about it, and I hope you are too! :)
Comment and tell me about your January!