Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, blog tour, Books, Give-aways

“An Hour Unspent” Release Day and Giveaway!

Happy Release day to “An Hour Unspent”! I am currently reading this beauty and thoroughly enjoying it!! I hope you will enjoy this post from the author as well as the giveaway!

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When Big Ben Joined the Skyline

When the design for A Name Unknown, book 1 in the Shadows Over England Series, was shown to me and I saw the spine for the first time, I was so excited to see the series logo they’d come up with. Big Ben’s clock tower.

shaouraav-shreshtha-428492-unsplashBig Ben says London. Which is what the designers were no doubt trying to invoke, as my family of thieves are firmly Londoners. But for me, it was more than that. Because in the third book of the series, An Hour Unspent, that iconic clock actually plays a role in the story.

For starters, a bit of naming. Most of us think of “Big Ben” as the clock, but it’s technically not. Big Ben is actually the bell. The clock is the Great Westminster Clock, though over the years the name Big Ben has come to be associated with the entire structure. So now that we’ve got that straight… 😉

The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859. Pugin was an architect, one who is most remembered for redesigning the interior of Westminster Palace and the tower in question, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of England. Though he also designed the face of the clock, the mechanics of the thing he wisely handed over to someone else.

palace-of-westminster-1659289_1920But interestingly, the movement–the gears and weights that make a clock work, and in this case, work with amazing reliability–was actually designed by two amateurs to the field. Edmund Denison, a lawyer, and mathematician George Airy. The construction was the only part undertaken by an actual clockmaker, Edward Dent.

The Great Clock’s inner workings are so precise that a penny sitting on the pendulum is all it takes to make slight alterations to the time. That one little coin will make an adjustment of nearly half a second a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows for small incremental adjustments to keep the clock accurate year after year. The pendulum still has a stack of old coins on it, and the clock is still hand-wound three times a week.

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In my story, I gave the job of upkeep of the Great Clock to my heroine’s father, a clock maker. This part is purely fictional, of course, but it would have been considered a great honor to be tasked with such a responsibility, and in my story that’s the proof of Cecil Manning’s proficiency in his trade, even though he’s by no means made himself rich.

That honor goes to another historical figure that my fictional Manning claims as a friend, who revolutionized the timekeeping world. But you’ll have to check out An Hour Unspent: Companion Guide to learn more about that…

An Hour UnspentAbout the Book

With Danger Creeping Ever Closer,
Do Their Dreams Still Matter?

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.

Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0764219283

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

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.

Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Giveaways & Contest

Roseanna has several giveaways and a special CONTEST for her readers! Click on the images below to learn more about each Giveaway. Or visit Roseanna’s blog.

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Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Tyndale House

“Until We Find Home” by Cathy Gohlke ~ Book review

 

“Until We Find Home” by Cathy Gohlke

A WWII novel

Review copy from Tyndale Review Program

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing―spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends―has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

 

This was an interesting book. There were parts that I liked, and parts that I didn’t care so much for.
I couldn’t connect with main character Claire Stewart for most of the book. I disliked her quite a bit for the first half. Her selfishness was just blinding, and not an attractive trait. I found that very aggravating. Once we got to know her background a little bit more towards the second half of the book, it was easier to understand her a little, but I still didn’t really connect with her. But it was a helpful reminder to be patient with kiddos and treat them with love. “Be patient with all men”, as the Bible says.
I liked her aunt, Miranda. Though sometimes she showed a touch of self-centeredness too. Not a whole lot, it was just sometimes alluded to in her younger days.
 I did feel for Miranda in her own struggles, and was glad to see her motherly attitude towards the children.
 Claire’s inward-focus wasn’t really resolved at the end. It was just shown as how she was, end of story, which was kind of disappointing. I did appreciate her journey to accepting God’s love for her, though. It is easy to know that God loves this person or that person, but sometimes it’s harder to believe it for oneself. So that aspect was good.
The ‘hero’ of this book, David, was a strong character and very beneficial for the children especially, but he wasn’t in the majority of the book.
“Until We Find Home” is told through various points-of-view, including Claire, Miranda, their housekeeper Mrs. Newsome, Little Aimee, Gaston, and Josef, so it wasn’t just focused on one or two characters, but it worked pretty well for this story.
The refugee children were all just darling. I loved Gaston particularly, and little Aimee was such a doll.
And I really liked how they helped the children continue to celebrate their Jewish roots, knowing it was important to them. David was the instigator for that. He really was the children’s advocate, gentle and strong as he was.
There were several plotlines that, to me, have been overdone and I didn’t find it very believable in all points. I skimmed some of it just because it was overly predictable.
The little glimpses we got to see into Beatrix Potter’s and C.S.Lewis’s lives were very interesting, though not at strong as I was originally expecting. Still, it was good.
Because of disliking Claire, and not caring for some of the plotline, I didn’t love this book, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in 1940's, character introduction

Character Introduction: Wyatt Paxton

 

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Welcome to the first CI post that features the hero of a book rather than heroine such as the past two months! When I read “The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin, I knew Wyatt had to be my next character I introduced her on the blog – he’s amazing. ^.^  (If you’re new to these posts: The idea behind them is just to spotlight the character a bit, give a little description of their personality, and for fun, a few books I’d recommend to them if I could.) 

 

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 I tried really hard to find a picture to represent Wyatt, but I couldn’t! I know, sad. But his picture is in my mind and I can’t find much that comes close. However, you can visit Sarah Sundin’s Pinterest Page to see a photo she found that does definitely very closely resemble Wyatt! See here.  

 

 

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Wyatt is one of those ‘strong and silent’ types. He’s not boisterous, but he is very kind-hearted. He’s harsh on himself as he yearns for forgiveness that he has to learn to give himself too.

I definitely relate to him in wanting to be perfect and getting frustrated with ourself when we can’t achieve that. But I loved his journey of truth, learning to truly accept the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness that makes us whole.

Wyatt is eager to help, eager to serve – as I said, he has got a very good heart. And a strong moral compass. He strives to always do what is right, no matter what.

 

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In short, I just love him so much :D Do not miss out on meeting him for yourself!!

 

 

Books I’d recommend to Wyatt:

Okay, so this section was harder this month because of the character…I’m not really sure what books he’d like, or if he would like the ones I’ve listed below. But we’ll go for it. ^.^

 

Brothers in Arms by Jack Lewis Baillot

Where Tree Tops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin

Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putman

 

 

 

 

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Get to know Wyatt Paxton in “The Sea Before Us”:

 

The Sea Before Us

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France, determined to redeem himself with the brothers he has betrayed. Dorothy Fairfax serves as a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, piecing together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France—including those of her family’s summer home—in order to create maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day. As Wyatt and Dorothy work together, he hopes Dorothy will return his growing love. But will family secrets, misplaced affections—and the seas off Normandy—separate them forever?

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

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Sarah Sundin is the award-winning author of ten novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com.

 

 

 

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And check out the Author-Interview with Sarah Sundin, and my review of the book by clicking on the graphics below:

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Posted in 1940's, Author Interview, Books

Author Interview! Sarah Sundin

 

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Welcome to the third Author-Interview Monday on this blog! I can’t wait to share this lovely interview with author Sarah Sundin herself! Like, so excited. I’m a huge fan, and so to have her here on the blog – yep, pretty amazing!! I won’t keep you in suspense any longer…here’s the interview!!

 

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Welcome to my “Peculiar” Blog! I’m so happy to have you here :)  Would you please introduce yourself and the genre that you write:

My name is Sarah Sundin, and I write historical romance set during World War II.

 

 

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Of your books, is there a character that you relate best to? And if so, why?

I relate to all my main characters. When I write a novel, I really try to get into the skin of my hero and heroine. Before I begin the rough draft, I explore their lives up until the story begins, their personalities, fears, secrets, dreams, and hopes. In the process of writing, I imagine the story through the lens of their experiences. I feel like I get very close to them.

 

 

 

Do you have a special process for how you choose your character’s names?

Names are very important to me. Sometimes the character’s name is just there, and other times I have to work to find it. Baby name books are very helpful, and I look at timeliness of names, ethnicity, and meaning as well as if it seems to fit the character. For Wyatt Paxton’s name in The Sea Before Us, I thought I might want a name with a meaning related to the sea, since he’s a naval officer. I found Wyatt, which means water, and it sounded like an appropriate name for my hero from Texas! For Dorothy Fairfax, I chose Dorothy because it was very popular in that time period and it just fit her.

 

 

 

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 know if it’s a quirk, but I do a lot of pre-writing. I fill out character charts, plot charts, and more. Lists and color-coding and timelines make me very happy!

 

 

 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It usually energizes me. The plotting phase sometimes feels like a wrestling match as I’m trying to make the story and history and characters fit a structure, but it’s thrilling when it comes together. And the rest of the writing process is a blast—I love character development, research, the rough draft, and editing.

 

 

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How important to you is the faith-element in your writing?

Very important. Each of my main characters has an issue to deal with—a sin issue, a faith issue, or a flaw he hasn’t dealt with. The events of the story forces him to turn to the Lord in order to grow and change.

 

 

 

What does your family think of your writing?

Snicker. My husband is a pharmacist and he married a pharmacist—who turned into a novelist. It was kind of disorienting for him. He’s come to support his wife’s strange new career. When my daughter was a teenager, she thought my writing career was my way to torture her. She’s grown out of that now, thank goodness. My grown sons are great supporters and avid readers! My youngest son, a sailor in the Navy based in Japan, had his picture taken with one of my books at the top of Mount Fuji!

 

 

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If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell her to relax, be patient, and enjoy the writing process. I was so eager and anxious to get published—as are most beginning writers. But discovering the joy of writing was a time to be savored and to explore.

 

 

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have two complete unpublished novels and an unpublished novella. The novels will never—and should never—be published. But they served their purpose and showed me I could finish a full-length novel. As for the novella, I’m still fond of it and would enjoy doing something with it someday.

 

 

 

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What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

One of the joys of belonging to the Christian writing community is meeting dozens of authors. Some have become critique partners, some have become publicity partners, and some have “just” become dear friends. It’s an incredible blessing!

 

 

 

And lastly, would you recommend a book that my readers might like if they’ve read your latest, “The Sea Before Us”?

Recently I’ve read and loved Kristy Cambron’s The Lost Castle (one of the three timelines involves the French Resistance leading up to D-day) and Jocelyn Green’s A Refuge Assured. Next on my to-be-read pile are two more World War II novels, Cathy Gohlke’s Until We Find Home and Liz Tolsma’s Melody of the Soul.

 

Image result for the lost castle by kristy cambronImage result for A refuge assured by jocelyn green  Image result for until we find home by cathy g Image result for melody of the soul

 

 

Thank you so very much, Mrs. Sundin!

 

 

 

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Sarah Sundin is the award-winning author of ten novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sea Before Us.jpgBlurb for “The Sea Before Us”:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France, determined to redeem himself with the brothers he has betrayed. Dorothy Fairfax serves as a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, piecing together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France—including those of her family’s summer home—in order to create maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day. As Wyatt and Dorothy work together, he hopes Dorothy will return his growing love. But will family secrets, misplaced affections—and the seas off Normandy—separate them forever?

 

 

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Wasn’t that superb, readers? I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed reading her answers. And I took encouragement from what she’d tell her younger-writer-self. To enjoy the writing time. It’s definitely easy to strive for that one day when you finally become published, but the writing process is my favourite part and I want to savor it while it’s here. :)

So many great answers, and I hope you all enjoyed reading them as well! Learning more about favourite authors is a great treat. :)

 

If you’re interested, you can also read my review of “The Sea Before Us” here.

 

And check back next Monday for another special Character-introduction post! :)

 

 

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*Some of the images are stock-photos or taken from Amazon/Goodreads. I don’t claim any ownership to those ones. 

 

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin ~ Book Review

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“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin

Book One in Sunrise at Normandy series

Review copy through Revell Publishers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars <3

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About the Book:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

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My Thoughts:

 

What a marvelous book. *Happy sigh*. A new book by Sarah Sundin is always highly anticipated, and this one did not let me down in the least. It was so excellent!
Wyatt Paxton and Dorothy Fairfax were amazing characters – so real, and they both had such depth. Each of the characters did.
The plot-line was superb, and drew you in from the beginning. There’s a ton of history in these books and still they read so smoothly.
Sometimes I think books you adore are harder to review. There was just so much about this book that I loved, that it is hard to find adequate words to describe it.
Wyatt was the perfect hero. Oh goodness – he had me from page one, truly. He is such an admirable man, with quiet strength and such a sense of what’s right and godly. And yet, so real – his struggles were hard, and he was so rough on himself. But wow – his whole journey was remarkable.
The same goes for Dorothy. I really liked her as well, and felt sad for her trials too. She felt like no one had ever really loved the real her – can you say heartbreaking? And while it was frustrating, her liking a certain other man who was not worthy of her, it was understandable – she yearned for something, anything.
I am just in awe at how Sarah Sundin can create a story that explores so much, endures so much, and yet comes out finished and completed at the end. No loose ends, everything ties up, and so emotionally investing!
And the plot-twist I wasn’t expecting – ufda. It just ties you in even more to the characters, all. Their struggle, their pains, and their resolution and healing. So beautiful!
WWII fiction at its finest indeed!!
And again, loooooved Wyatt. Can’t say that enough! New favourite hero…. ;)
Definitely recommend this book!!!!! Loved it so much <3
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Quotes:

I marked down several other quotes, but haven’t had the chance to turn them into quote graphics yet – but still hope to! Check back in April when I have a fun post planned relating to “The Sea Before Us”! :)

 

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot ~ Book Review

Finding the Magic

 

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

A Novella Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

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.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

This was super sweet and super good! The writing alone was excellent, and the story-line was positively adorable. It was just a short novella sort of story, but it held great meaning, and was a superb Beauty and the Beast retelling. I love how it started out with an excerpt of the original tale.
It has a beautiful and gentle faith-strand that glitters sweetly.
And the fact that it was set in Winter, with the snow and all the happy feelings that creates… <3
I definitely have a soft-spot for Beauty and the Beast stories, and this one was extra delightful! I love the author’s writing talent, and look forward to more of her penned creations!
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in 1940's, Books, cover reveal

Cover Reveal!! “An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White with Giveaway!

Cover Reveal 2

 

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?

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“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White

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.

 

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And now for what we’ve all been waiting for……

The cover!!!!!!!

 

 

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Preorder Links: Amazon  Christian Book    and Goodreads.

 

It’s lovely, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to reading it!!

The series together looks gorgeous too:

 

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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.

 

 

 

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And don’t forget to enter the giveaway HERE!!

 

About the author:

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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.

Goodreads

Roseanna’s Website 

 

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