Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Book Review — In This Moment

4 Jun

I absolutely loved When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer, so when I was given the opportunity to read the second book in the Timeless series, In This Moment, I grabbed it! While it’s possible to read In This Moment on its own, I recommend you begin at the beginning — you do not want to miss a moment of this series.

Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night, she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives–and everyone she knows in them–forever. 

In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of a senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she joins a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she’s a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon.

While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer. With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the upper Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events. You can learn more about Gabrielle and her books at http://www.gabriellemeyer.com.

Find Gabrielle on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleMeyer, Pinterest at http://www.Pinterest.com/gabriellemeyer/, Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MeyerGabrielle, Goodreads, and her Website at http://www.gabriellemeyer.com.

My Impressions:

I loved the first book in Gabrielle Meyer’s Timeless series, When The Day Comes. When I learned that book 2, In This Moment was available, I jumped at the chance to read it. The books are part historical fiction, part romance, and part time-travel, which the author has wonderfully wrapped up in an intriguing read that I just could not put down! Book 2 features the first person voice of Margaret/Maggie,/Meg, daughter of main character Libby from book 1. Maggie has not just two paths to live but three. As her twenty-first birthday approaches Maggie must decide if she will stay in 1861, 1941, or 2001. I am not going to elaborate on the rules of time-crossing — that’s part of the fun of the novel — but will say that Maggie is aware of the importance of two of her paths. Only the reader knows what she will encounter in 2001. The history in this book is fabulous. If that was all there was to her story it would be enough, but Meyer introduces romance too! But that’s not all. Maggie knows she has a purpose for her life; she just needs to decide which time period best fulfills her desires and God’s will. I know this sounds really complicated, but the narrative flows effortlessly. I never was confused by the time period change — Maggie is Maggie in each era. There are twists and turns galore which Maggie faces with fear, doubts, grief, hope, and faith — everything a non-time-crossing person faces in life. 😉 I approved of Maggie’s choice, and loved how Meyer wrapped it all up. There’s a teaser at the end that sets up book 3. Can. Not. Wait!

Don’t be daunted by the time travel aspect of In This Moment. It all comes together in wonderful ways that will keeping you thinking about this book for a long time. Get a reading buddy or two and settle in for some riveting reading.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults and Older Teenagers.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

If You Liked . . . The Sound of Light

31 May

For my book club, Sarah Sundin is a must-read author. She always delivers a great story filled with well-researched details. The Sound of Light, a WWII-era novel set in Denmark, did not disappoint. If you liked it too, then I have a few more reading recommendations. Whether the setting is unique or it was inspired by true events. the three novels are all great stories. Hope you find one to love.

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Snow on The Tulips by Liz Tolsma

A stranger’s life hangs in the balance. But to save him is to risk everything. The war is drawing to a close, but the Nazis still occupy part of the Netherlands. After the losses she’s endured, war widow Cornelia is only a shadow of the woman she once was. She fights now to protect her younger brother, Johan, who lives in hiding. When Johan brings Gerrit Laninga, a wounded Dutch Resistance member, to Cornelia’s doorstep, their lives are forever altered. Although scared of the consequences of harboring a wanted man, Cornelia’s faith won’t let her turn him out. 

As she nurses Gerrit back to health, she is drawn to his fierce passion and ideals, and notices a shift within herself. Gerrit’s intensity challenges her, making her want to live fully, despite the fear that constrains her. When the opportunity to join him in the Resistance presents itself, Cornelia must summon every ounce of courage imaginable. She is as terrified of loving Gerrit as she is of losing him. But as the winter landscape thaws, so too does her heart. Will she get a second chance at true love? She fears their story will end before it even begins.

Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression. 

Hania Silverman’s carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto’s population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania’s natural resiliency is exhausted by reality. 

Zodia and Hania’s lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart. 

Amanda Barratt’s meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

Spotlight On Historical Fiction — Counterfeit Faith

31 May

Counterfeit Faith JustRead Takeover + Review Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover + Review Blitz for Counterfeit Faith by Crystal Caudill, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About The Book

Counterfeit Faith

Title: Counterfeit Faith
Series: Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age #3
Author: Crystal Caudill
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Release Date: May 16, 2023
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

She’s losing her faith in mankind. He’s lost his faith in God. Can working together restore them both?

As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She’ll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she’s determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don’t like to be crossed–and they’re willing to kill to get their way.

Gwendolyn knows she can’t quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care.

Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble–and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. The danger he’s truly worried about is his growing attraction to Gwendolyn when his heart wants to remain faithful to his deceased wife.

As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible–if they can live through this case. At the same time, he’s put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds?

“Page-turning action combines with depth and richness to create a full-bodied, rewarding read.”

–Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of The Metropolitan Affair

“Readers who love romance, suspense, and a graceful amount of faith won’t want to miss this story.”

–Toni Shiloh, Christy Award-winning author

“With a host of sympathetic and likable characters (and a few not so likable), a riveting plot that clips along at the perfect pace, and a relatable faith thread, this book [is a] completely enjoyable read.”

–Kimberly Duffy, Carol Award finalist and author of A Tapestry of Light


His ragged breath caught as he focused on her for the first time. He remembered having been gripped by her pale face and fear-stricken eyes, but now the beauty of her visage struck him as worthy of belonging in a Grecian temple. It was as if Aphrodite had taken on breath and walked off the page Robert had shown him at the Philadelphia Library.

Except this Grecian goddess looked like she’d been kicked down from Mount Olympus by a vengeful Hera. Dirt and debris imprinted Shaveless’s shoe across her temple on the right side of her face. Based on her thin-pressed lips and deep furrows between her brows, she probably had one devil of a headache. Long soft curls knocked free from their confines spilled onto the ground like sheaves of wheat during harvest season.

Do your job and stop gawking. The woman could be bleeding.

He inspected the length of her, from the high neck of her worn, black wool coat, down her unfashionable but sturdy brown skirts, to the scuffed toes of her heeled buttoned boots. Thankfully, nothing indicated blood was seeping into the material, and her chest rose and fell in even—albeit shuddered—breaths. Once the ambulance arrived, he’d insist on traveling with her to the hospital to ensure she received proper treatment and an examination for a concussion.

“Miss, can you speak to me?”

Languid eyelids opened to reveal stunning copper orbs. Was there anything not breathtaking about this woman?

She blinked at him and then nearly collided heads with him as she shot up to a sitting position. “You’re bleeding!”
(pp 19-20)

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Christianbook | BookBub

More Books in This Series

Counterfeit Love Counterfeit Hope

About The Author

Crystal Caudill

Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW. She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

Connect with Crystal by visiting crystalcaudill.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive print copies of Counterfeit Love, Counterfeit Hope, and Counterfeit Faith, a set of bookmarks, 2 stickers with quotes, and a magnet with a QR code to a “test your Secret Service knowledge” quiz!

Counterfeit Faith JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 31, 2023 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 7, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Author Interview — Linda Shenton Matchett

19 May

About The Book

Book: Gold Rush Bride Tegan

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 25, 2022

Tegan Llewellyn has always been different than her adopted family, except Grandmother Hannah, a prospector during the 1829 Georgia gold rush. Now, seventy years later there are reports of gold in Nome, and the opportunity is too good to pass up. But Tegan doesn’t count on the dangers that strike from the moment she steps off the steamer, including the threat of losing her heart.

Elijah Hunter has prospected for gold all over the US and Canada and likes being on the move. The last thing he expects to find on his latest search is a lady miner who proves to be nothing but trouble. Can he convince her that leaving is for her own good before it’s too late…for both of them?

Click HERE to get your copy.

About The Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of World War II and a former trustee for her local public library. She now resides in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities are exploring the state’s historical sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

I am constantly amazed at the extraordinary things women did over the course of history (mostly done in dresses and skirts until about eighty years ago!). When I stumbled on the fact that women were involved during the gold and silver rushes that occurred in the US and its territories, I knew I had to tell their story.

A significant number of women followed husbands, brothers, or fathers, but an intrepid few set out on their own to find their fortune for as many reasons as there were women. Some went to escape difficult (or abusive) situations at home and others because they felt they had no choice. But there was a small percentage who made their way across thousands of miles for the sheer adventure.

The Nome Gold Rush started 175 years ago in 1898, and was different than previous rushes in that much of the gold was on the beach and could be plucked from the sand without any need for a claim. Later, claims were required to mine gold from the Snake River, and this is when things got dirty.

Initially, the courts upheld original claims, but after some of the “claim jumpers” offered to share proceeds from their invalid claims, a few crooked judges and politicians decided this was a great opportunity to line their pockets. Already guilty of stealing votes and voter intimidation, Alexander McKenzie, National Committeeman for North Dakota headed the pack and created an elaborate scheme with the help of Judge Arthur Noyes. It would take nearly two years for the men to be arrested and brought to trial. I included a fictionalized version of this situation in Gold Rush Bride Tegan.

I visited Alaska before writing Tegan and was overwhelmed by its majestic beauty. The photos I’d seen before the trip didn’t do justice to the reality of the state’s glaciers, mountains, rivers, and forests. Wildlife is so abundant that it literally walked or flew through town giving us “up close and personal” experiences with moose, wild sheep, eagles, and more.

Because of the inaccessibility of much of the state, one in fifty Alaskans hold a pilot’s license as compared to the national average which is one in seven hundred. However, in 1898, prospectors didn’t have that luxury, instead making their way to San Francisco by rail and then either going overland with wagons and mules or up the coast on schooners, either choice a difficult and arduous journey.

It is my hope that Gold Rush Bride Tegan honors the stalwart women who left all they knew for the chance of a lifetime.


Linda Shenton Matchett

Q & A with Linda Shenton Matchett

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My parents are voracious readers, and I don’t know if they intentionally pushed me into writing, but when I was about seven or eight, they gave me a package of pens and a 100-page notepad (complete with bouquet of pencils illustrated on the cover) and told me to fill it. They might have just been trying to keep me out of trouble, but the result was that I fell in love with crafting stories. Whenever I filled a notebook, I could count on my folks to give me another one. After my first book was published in 2016, they were huge cheerleaders and told everyone they knew. As each subsequent book came out, they were just as excited as if it was my first. When my mom passed away last year, I found multiple copies of all of my books on her shelves.

What types of research do you pursue?

Books, on-site visits, etc. Research is my favorite part of the writing process. I try to use primary sources as much as possible. I outline all my books which means I know what topics need to be researched, and I do that before starting the manuscript. I happily chase rabbit trails which are sometimes useless, but many time give me ideas for other stories. I am blessed to have a WWII museum in my town and am able to access their archives for my WWII stories. I also watch oral history interviews of people who lived during that time. For books set earlier, I try to find journals, diaries, or autobiographies, and for my books in the Gold Rush series, I unearthed two fabulous books that included diary excerpts from women who were prospectors. I also found several articles and pamphlets written by gold rushers. I try to visit the places I write about, but that’s not always possible. Fortunately, for Tegan I had already been to Alaska. My husband and I had visited there about five years prior to writing the story. I didn’t know I’d write a book set there, but I always troll for history and information of anyplace I visit, so I had plenty of notes!

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

I have a full-time job and by nature am an organized person, so I create a schedule for all of my author activities to ensure everything gets done. I’m an “early-bird” and typically am at my desk ready to write by about 5:30 AM on weekdays. I use weekends to create blog posts, write my YouTube scripts, and plan social media engagement.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

The Gold Rush Brides series is a multi-author series that I started after stumbling on two little known facts: there was a major gold rush in northern Georgia almost twenty years before the California rush and there were female prospectors. Some women followed husbands or fathers to the gold fields, but others went to escape a bad situation at home, to make a fresh start, or for the sheer adventure of trying it. I knew I had to tell their story. Book 1 (Hannah)is set during the Georgia gold rush in 1829, and Book 2 is about Hannah’s daughter (set in 1859) at the Pike’s Peak gold rush. To write Tegan (Hannah’s granddaughter), I needed to find a gold rush that occurred at least fifty years later. The Nome gold rush began in 1898. Perfect!

    Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any
    works in progress you can share about?

    I always have a book in process, whether I’m outlining, writing, or editing. I just started Beryl’s Bounty Hunter, a mail-order bride story set in Wyoming during 1875. Beryl comes to America in response to an ad, but soon discovers that the agency is fraudulent and a front for kidnapping women. The book will release in August of this year. Then I have a WWII Thanksgiving story on the docket called Francine’s Foibles.


    To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!

    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


    Blog Stops

    Sylvan Musings, May 10 (Author Interview)

    Lily’s Book Reviews, May 11

    Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

    Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 13 (Author Interview)

    Texas Book-aholic, May 14

    Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

    Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 16 (Author Interview)

    Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

    Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

    Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

    By The Book, May 19 (Author Interview)

    Mary Hake, May 19

    Books Less Travelled, May 20

    For Him and My Family, May 21

    For the Love of Literature, May 22 (Author Interview)

    Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

    May Book Club Selection

    1 May

    I can’t wait to begin this month’s book club selection! Sarah Sundin has become a must-read author for my group, and we impatiently wait on each new book. Have you read The Sound of Light yet? We would love to know your thoughts.

    When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. 

    American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research–her life’s dream. While printing resistance newspapers, she hears stories of the movement’s legendary Havmand–the merman–and wonders if the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse has something to hide.

    When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. Bestselling author of more than a dozen WWII novels, Sarah Sundin offers pens another story of ordinary people responding to extraordinary circumstances with faith, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future.

    First Line Friday — When Tomorrow Came

    28 Apr

    Happy Friday, everyone! Today I am featuring a historical novel from Hannah Linder, When Tomorrow Came. This Regency romance looks like something I will love. I hope the opening line of the prologue piques your interest. It is repeated several times throughout, so it’s important!

    Here’s the first line:

    “All these years.”

    They Waited Their Whole Lives for Their Papa to Return
    Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish and years have healed some of their wounds, their long-awaited papa returns and reunites them—bringing demands with him. Nan is expected to marry a rich suitor she’s never liked, and Heath is expected to forsake his gentle spirit and become the hardened man his father always was.

    Dangers unfold, secret love develops, fights ensue, and murder upsets the worlds Heath and Nan have built for themselves.

    They’ve waited their whole lives for their papa to return, for tomorrow to come—but now that it has, will they be able to see through to the truth and end this whirlwind of a nightmare before it costs one of their lives?   

    Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award winner, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). In way of career, Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, National, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com

    Spotlight on Historical Romance: The Lieutenant’s Secret Love

    26 Apr

    About The Book

    Book: The Lieutenant’s Secret Love

    Author: Elva Cobb Martin

    Genre: Christian Historical Romance

    Release date: April 11, 2023

    An exposed family secret changed her life forever and blindsided his Marine heart.

    From the day Hannah was abandoned as a newborn, her adoptive parents have kept the truth of her origin from her and her siblings. But when that secret is exposed, a threat arises which forces her to leave the only family she’s ever known and the adoptive brother she adores. She must start her life anew in Charleston.

    U.S. Marine Lieutenant Adam White, harbors a secret—more confidential than patrolling the Caribbean for French corsairs, more threatening than the fight against Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean. Adam carries a personal, burning secret in his heart. He’s fallen in love with Hannah since discovering she is not his blood sister. And the thought that she might only ever see him as her loving big brother may be the greatest threat to him yet.

    As the Charleston men seek to win Hannah’s heart, she never loses touch with the man who had been her older brother. The man her heart can’t help seeing him in a whole new light. But when Adam’s squadron sets out for the Mediterranean on the most dangerous mission of his life, only God can keep him—and their love—alive.

    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

    Researching our true American history for this novel inspired me so much in a day when many are trying to ignore or wipe out our Christian foundations and heroic acts. I want to share two particular true stories which I use in my novel that should bless and inspire you, too.

    First, I set my story the year after President George Washington died. He died December 14, 1799, after a bout of laryngitis following a horseback ride in the snow to check his plantation. But truly, his death was brought on by the horrid bleeding (phlebotomy) common in that day that three prominent physicians put him through. History records they bled eight quarts from his body in about thirteen hours. The physicians soon observed… “that he expired without a struggle.” –Of course he couldn’t struggle, with all that blood loss. I’ve told you this to tell you Washington’s last words.

    Washington, at about eleven o’clock in the evening, uttered his last words: “Father of mercies, take me unto thyself,” and “tis well.”

    On Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon is engraved: “I am the Resurrection and the Life; saith the Lord. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”

    The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., which is 555 feet tall, has engraved on its metal cap the Latin phrase “Laus Deo,” which means “Praise be to God.”

    The other true story of our history that inspired me proves the bravery and derring-do of the fledging Navy and Marines during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. Many don’t know that Washington actually disbanded the original Navy right after the Revolution as he had no intention of putting this almost penniless new nation into any more wars or try to find the money to support a Navy.

    But Barbary Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean started plundering our merchant ships no longer under British protection and taking entire crews into slavery. We ended up paying huge sums of tribute for questionable protection and hefty ransoms to redeem any of our crews taken into slavery. President Thomas Jefferson saw the great need for a strong Navy and went about securing it during his two terms (1801-.1809). A famous byword of those days became: “Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute.”

    Naval heroes like William Eaton, Edward Preble, Stephen Decatur, and Marine lieutenant Presley O’Bannon blazoned across our history during the turbulent wars against the Muslim Barbary pirates and sultans. One incident stands out that I decided to include in my novel with my fictional hero, Marine Lieutenant Adam White, added to the story and my heroine Hannah, awaiting letters from him.

    Jefferson and Congress commissioned the building of a Navy frigate, the USS Philadelphia, the largest, most modern for the period, to do battle in this Barbary war. America was proud of this ship and it’s potential. But to everyone’s dismay, the Philadelphia got stuck on a sand bar near Tripoli’s harbor, and soon ended up captured by the Tripoli pirates, and its crew taken into slavery. Even though the American captain damaged the ship as best he could before being forced to surrender it, the horror was compounded when the Muslims bragged they would soon repair the ship and use it against us. President Jefferson, Congress, the Navy, and all America suffered some dark days indeed.

    But naval hero Stephen Decatur came up with a daring, dangerous plan to slip into the well-guarded Tripoli Harbor where the ship was anchored while being repaired. He chose a few handpicked Marines (my novel hero included!) who would attempt to burn the Philadelphia and keep it from ever being used against us. They would have no Navy backup and would all end up in slavery if the Muslims discovered them.

    You’ll have to read my novel (or do research) to find out how this ended!

    Q & A with Elva Cobb Martin

    Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

     I wrote my first original story in seventh grade.

    Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?  

     Dr. Bill West, Anderson University professor.

    Why did you choose the historical romance genre?

    Because of my love of history and God’s often intervention in our American continuing story.

    Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

    Yes. Life being too busy to study and pursue novel-writing. Although I did have a number of articles published in magazines, this is the basic excuse I give for my first novel being published at age 75. God has been so good to keep giving me stories! I’m now working on novel eight.

    What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc. 

    I do read lots of books; usually have several going at one time. I also watch and save movies that depict a particular historical period. And I love visiting historical sites and taking photos for my file.

    What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?  

    Surprisingly, I do not write on novels every day. I have certain days I take care of other family business, write bills, or wash clothes, etc. But on the days I designate for writing, I write from early morning to about 6 pm, with two hours off to prepare and eat lunch with my husband.

    How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits)

    It usually takes about eight months, then two or three more for the book tobe released by my publisher, Wild Heart Books.

    Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

    Interesting research I ran across about our early American Navy and Marines helped inspire my latest novel, The Lieutenant’s Secret Love, which will be released April 5, 2023. I love honoring our military which I do in this story. They deserve it!

    What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

    I hope readers find my novels, exciting, inspiring, and depicting romance between a man and woman as I believe God meant it to be.

    Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

    I am in the Plotstorming stage for Book 6, The Gamekeeper’s Reluctant Bride, in our Charleston Brides series, hopefully to be released in 2024.

    Readers can connect with Elva in several ways:

    Newsletter signup on my web site: http://www.elvamartin.com

    Author Blog: http://carolinaromancewithelvamartin.blogspot.com

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin

    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin 

    Blog Stops

    Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 14

    Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15

    Texas Book-aholic, April 16

    Connie’s History Classroom, April 17

    Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

    Sylvan Musings, April 19

    Betti Mace, April 20

    Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 21 (Author Interview)

    Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 21

    Cover Lover Book Review, April 22

    Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

    For Him and My Family, April 24

    Holly’s Book Corner, April 25

    By The Book, April 26 (Author Interview)

    Karen Baney Reviews, April 26

    Pause for Tales, April 27


    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.


    Top 10 Tuesday — Fun Places I Have Visited (and the books that went with me)

    18 Apr

    Happy Tuesday! Today’s TTT topic is a Non-Book Freebie. You didn’t really think I would go without mentioning a book, did you? 😉 Today I am sharing some places I have visited in the past few years and the books I either read while there or read prior to going. It’s a win-win — you get to find out a little more about me and I get to talk books. LOL!

    For more non-book posts (or not), check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

    Places I Have Visited (and the books that went with me)

    Zion National Park — my whole family traveled there in March of this year. While they were more adventurous in their hikes, I did see some of the park’s beauties. I read America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie while there.

    Shetland Islands — last fall my husband and I traveled to the northernmost part of the UK. We even sampled the fish and chips at the northernmost chip shop. I read False Pretense by Heather Day Gilbert while there. That’s Jimmy Perez’s house (if you are a fan of Shetland, you know) and that’s the view from the hotel.

    Yellowstone National Park — we went to Yellowstone in the fall of 2021. I have tons of pictures, but I think a geyser says it all. Nope, it’s not Old Faithful, although we did see it erupt a number of times. I read Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver prior to my trip.

    Alaska was amazing. We headed up to Talkeetna for a glimpse of Denali, then took a 7 day cruise with fabulous excursions. Glacier Bay pictured below was awesome. I read a number of books prior to that trip, you can find them HERE.

    The North Georgia Mountains is my happy place! Yes the mountains may be more like tall hills, but I love them. The pics are of a few visitors we have had in our little slice of heaven. All just outside our windows. I’ve been listening to Turn to Me by Becky Wade, and it calls up all that I love about the area. I’ve just gotten to the part where the treasure hunt takes Luke and Finley to Blood Mountain. It is just a few miles south of our getaway home and a favorite hike of my husband.

    Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Rose

    10 Apr

     About The Book

    Book: Rose

    Author: Rena Groot

    Genre: Christian Historical Romantic Fiction

    Release date: April 28, 2022

    Strong, determined Rose finds more than she bargained for on a wagon train headed out West on the Oregon Trail. Will she be able to leave the comforts of high society behind to survive the rigors of the trail? Will she humbly admit her need for strength, hope and courage from God? What is God saying to her about Lachlan, her surprise chaperone? Why did God bring Lachlan into her life if their dreams collide? Rose has dreams of being a teacher in town. Lachlan’s dream is to be a rancher, far from any town. Must Rose abandon her dreams to embrace his…or will she let this gentle giant of a man leave to pursue his own dreams?

    Click here to get your copy!

    About The Author

    Hi. My name is Rena Groot. I have a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Religious Education from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane, Alberta. I have been a teacher in Canada and China, have published eight books, I have designed a digital course called Broken to Beautiful-Transformed By God’s Power, I have been a tour manager from the Rockies to the Pacific, have been a missionary to the ends of the Earth, a mom of four—and the most important part—I am a child of God.

    Author Q & A

    Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

    There is much more to the story…but my addiction to writing was born while sitting under a mosquito net in China. I didn’t stop writing until A Life Set Free was finished.

    Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

    Two high school teachers and a seminary professor gave me the impression they thought I was a gifted writer. There are so many amazing authors, I am not sure why God chose me to write. I am sure God must have smiled when I discovered this gift from Him. I hope I get to write in eternity.

    Why did you choose to writein the historical, romantic, Christian genre?

    My friend Caryl McAdoo seemed confident I could write a Prairie Rose Collection book…so upon her invitation I wrote Rose. I loved reading settler’s accounts of their travels.

    What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule? 

    I am very scattered and informal. One night I had such a flow of ideas I wrote all night. Basically, I write when I can’t not write.

    How long does it usually take to craft your books? (from outlines/first drafts to final edits) 

    That has varied from twenty-five years, to three years, to a few months.

    Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

    I wanted women to have a beautiful, wholesome, God-honoring, historical fiction, love story.

    What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

    A greater faith, hope, and trust in God.

    Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

    Abi. It is 1863. The civil war has brought chaos to Abigail’s family. She is haunted by a letter she is carrying from her father that could ruin her reputation. She is tempted to burn it, but her dream of a home in Oregon would also be ruined. Her fiancé is waiting for her in Oregon City…but there’s aproblem. William. Abi must keep so many secrets or her future hopes could be destroyed.

    More from Rena

    My middle name is Rose. I was named after my grandmother, Rose. As far as I know, I never met my father’s mother, Rose. Her life, and my dad’s, were an enigma to me. While writing this book I found out Rose had two other grandchildren I knew nothing about—my brother and sister I didn’t know existed. God is so amazing! (This is attached to the email)

    One of my favorite recipes is fry bread. On days we stay in camp, I make enough for the week. It gets a bit hard towards the end of the week, but softens when it’s dipped in stew. Here’s the recipe: Four cups flour, one quarter cup shortening—I use bacon fat—four teaspoons baking powder, three-quarters cup of milk, one teaspoon salt, and oil or fat for frying. If the dough is too thick or thin, Willow said to play with it until it feels just right. It can also be made into a dessert if you put milk, cinnamon, and berries on top.

    Johnnycake’s delicious with beans. It’s so easy to make. You need two eggs, two cups of sour milk, one half cup flour, two tablespoons molasses, one teaspoon salt, two cups cornmeal, one teaspoon baking powder, and two tablespoons butter. You mix all the ingredients then bake it in a Dutch oven over the fire until it’s cooked.

    Cheese is easy to make. It’s a good way to use the two gallons of milk we get from our cow and the goat each day. We are getting so much we have been sharing. Willow showed me how to gently heat the milk in a pail on the fire until it’s blood warm. Rennet is needed to make cheese, so I use a flask made from a cow’s stomach because it has rennet in it. I had no idea. I pour the hot milk into the stomach flask and wait. After it’s been left a few hours, I pour it out, break up the curds, and mix them with salt. I wrap the curds in a cloth and put them in a round wooden frame called “the follower.” (Thankfully, Lachlan had the good sense to buy one of those also). The curds are pressed in the follower. The cheese is usually aged for at least two months before it can be eaten.

    Blog Stops


    To celebrate her tour, Rena is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    Spotlight on Historical Romance — When Tomorrow Came

    30 Mar


    • Title: When Tomorrow Came: A Novel 
    • Author: Hannah Linder
    • Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Suspense, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
    • Publisher: Barbour Books (April 1, 2023)
    • Length: (320) pages
    • Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
    • ISBN: 978-1636094403
    • Tour Dates: March 27 – April 10, 2023

    They Waited Their Whole Lives for Their Papa to Return

    Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish and years have healed some of their wounds, their long-awaited papa returns and reunites them–bringing demands with him. Nan is expected to marry a rich suitor she’s never liked, and Heath is expected to forsake his gentle spirit and become the hardened man his father always was. 

    Dangers unfold, secret love develops, fights ensue, and murder upsets the worlds Heath and Nan have built for themselves. They’ve waited their whole lives for their papa to return, for tomorrow to come–but now that it has, will they be able to see through to the truth and end this whirlwind of a nightmare before it costs one of their lives?


    • “The plot is full of intrigue, and it’s anchored by complicated characters whose secrets are slowly, carefully revealed. Readers will be hooked.”— Publisher’s Weekly
    • “Filled with intrigue, heartache, love, and a cast of beloved characters…this unique story had me crying and cheering. I can’t wait to read her next book!”— Kimberley Woodhouse, bestselling author of the award-winning Secrets of the Canyon series
    • When Tomorrow Came captured my heart from the very beginning…All the characters were so endearing and the story line with mystery and suspense kept me up way too late.”— Dana Michael, Goodreads


    “Miss Duncan, please.” A hand circled her arm, tightened, started to tug. “Step aside and let the servants handle him.”

    Handle him. As if Gilbert Stanhope were nothing more than a trinket to be moved to another shelf or a tapestry to be hung on a different wall or a—

    “Nan.” The use of her forename jolted her, struck through some of the panic long enough to make her rise.

    Lord Humphries drew her back. “Take him to one of the guest chambers on the east wing, men. Careful you do not jostle him.”

    Jostle him. Her chest hammered. No, please do not jostle him.

    Even when the manservants circled him, lifted him, he didn’t stir. His head dangled. Eyes remained shut. How long had they been like that?

    “Let me go.” She pulled against the hold on her.

    The servants passed through the doorway, disappeared.

    “My lord, let me go—”

    “Miss Duncan, do not take on hysterics.” Her ladyship, for the first time, finally

    pushed from her chair. “You are forgetting yourself entirely. Sit down and calm down, if you please.”

    “But I want to—”

    “Nan, Mother is right.” Lord Humphries caught her shoulders, trapping her. “We have already sent for the apothecary, and there is very little you can do.”

    “I want to be with him.”

    “But it would only further upset you, my darling—”

    “The only thing further upsetting me is your hands. Now will you please let me go?”

    At the words, her ladyship inhaled a lungful of air, and Lord Humphries reddened by three shades. With an awkward apology, he walked away from her. “Of course, Miss Duncan. Forgive me. I was only attempting to calm you.”

    With gathering tears, she fled through the same doorway the servants had exited. Big, empty, glittering halls. How thudding and severe fell her footfalls on marble so pristine. God, what is wrong?

    She mounted mahogany stairs when a maid pointed her in the right direction. Up, up, up—but it took much longer than it ever should have.

    Please, God.

    She halted in a carpeted hall, approached the only door swung wide open. Three servants slipped out, no expression, finished with one duty and off to the next.

    Then Nan entered.

    He lay still upon a four-poster bed, an elderly maid already hovering close—but at the sight of Nan, she retreated to a corner chair and said nothing.


    His eyes adjusted on her, hazy, uncertain.

    She pressed close to the bed and grasped his hand. “Gil, you are awake?”

    “Yes.” Strange, how his voice could sound so normal when his face appearedso wan. “Yes, awake.”

    “What is wrong?”

    “Don’t. . .know.”

    “Is there pain?”



    “Mouth. . .throat. Everything so . . . blurry and . . . and . . .”

    “And what?”

    Stared at her, stared hard.


    First, it was just a twitch, a faint jerk of his chest. Then his arms began to shake,his legs, everywhere.

    “Gil!” Her scream summoned the maid to her side. They seized his arms.“Gil, please.”

    Convulsing, half breathing, teeth jarring in a deathlike rhythm of pain. Just

    as quickly, though, the writhing ceased. He lay limp as before. Didn’t move, hardly breathed.

    Just looked at her.

    “In the name of mercy, what is the matter with him?” She lifted his hand to

    her chest, squeezed with the same devilish fear as when Heath would not wake up. “What is the matter?”

    She hadn’t expected an answer, but a voice from close by whispered anyway. “I ’ave not seen this in a long time, miss.” The old maid reached out and mopped sweat from Gilbert’s brow. “An’ I had ’oped not to see it again.”

    “What? Tell me, please. Why is he so ill?”

    “Not ill, miss.” A disheartened sigh. “Poisoned.”

    Chapter 15, pages 155-156

    From When Tomorrow Came © 2023, Hannah Linder, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc.



    Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design associate degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and international bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments–piano, guitar, and ukulele–songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse.