The Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze

Synopsis:

When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she’s rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her…

Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he’d be.

My Thoughts:

This delightful story has all the elements that I love! A swoon-worthy hero, a strong capable heroine, tender moments that make you sigh in contentment, a touch of mystery and intrigue, that kept me turning pages, and most of all threads of faith that remind us that forgiveness isn’t something we can earn, it is a gift we need only accept.

These characters are so well written, that I felt like I was in the story with my friends. From early on I found myself invested in their story and swept away with the engaging storyline.  If you haven’t read this book yet, I’d encourage you to find a copy.

Gemma Lyfeld isn’t a shrinking violet. She knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to go after it. While she does have one fear, she faces it with determination. I found myself cheering for her. I appreciated her spunk and her tenacity.

Tavin Knox is a government agent, he isn’t interested in attending parties, rubbing shoulders with the upper crust, and he certainly isn’t interested in dancing or escorting a lovely lady around London. Especially not one who takes chances and distracts him from his job.

Just when you think you have the mystery solved, new facts come to light that will keep you guessing and turning pages. I give this captivating story 5-stars and encourage you to take time to read this story! I’m going to find more stories from Susanne Dietze to share with you.

(I purchased a copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and options I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“Will you dance with me, Gemma?” His voice sounded tremulous. “Again?”
The squeeze of her fingers assured him of her assent.
“Until my slippers are worn through”

About the Author:

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Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the author of several historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her at:

 

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest

 

 

   The Reluctant Guardian

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What elements do you look for in a story?

Author Interview & Giveaway with Lori Benton

I am on cloud 9 today! I have been looking forward to our visit with Lori Benton for weeks! I am totally over here fangirling right now! I’ve been a huge fan of Lori’s since her first book “Burning Sky” was released in 2013.

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Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, and The Wood’s Edge.

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //
Amazon // Pinterest

Today Lori has joined us to talk about her latest book release Many Sparrows. I had the honor to receive an ARC of this captivating story (you can read my full review here). Trust me when I say that you will not want to miss this story!

Many SparrowsMany Sparrows
WaterBrook Press (Penguin Random House)
August 29 2017  
ISBN-10: 1601429940 
ISBN-13: 978-1601429940

Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can recover her son…especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

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Welcome Lori, I’m beyond thrilled to have you here today chatting with us about your new book ‘Many Sparrows’.  Before we delve into questions about the book, lets start off with a few getting to know you questions.

road-1072823_640Q: What is your favorite season, and why?

Lori: Oh, hands down, it’s autumn. I love the woodland colors (brown is my favorite color), though of course, they aren’t as spectacular where I live, in Oregon, as they are in the eastern states. I love the invigoration of cooler air after our long hot summer. I love the fog! It never depresses me. I find it cozy and good writing weather. I also love the mood it gives my landscape photos. I love fall clothes, chunky sweaters and hooded jackets and boots and flannel. I love the smell of wood fires on the air. Oh my, is it fall yet?

Trisha:  Fall is a beautiful time of year and such a welcome after a hot summer.

 

cobweb-1025021_640Q: What is the best part of your day?

Lori: I like the morning—early, mid, late, all of it. It’s my quiet time, then my writing time. My best “brain” hours are morning hours.

 

Trisha: I love watching the sun come up, every day it’s different. No two are alike.

 

 

book-863418_640Q: What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Lori:  Looking back I’d say Francine Rivers’ early works, especially The Mark of the Lion—they had a huge influence on me when I began writing CF, they broadened the scope. And of course Christy by Catherine Marshall, and Julie, which never seems to get as much attention but which I enjoyed nearly as much. Liz Curtis Higgs’ Scottish series which starts with A Thorn in My Heart were favorites. The early fantasy works of Stephen Lawhead, his Pendragon Cycle, awakened my love of all things Celtic and my interest in Welsh history. The first novel I wrote, back in my early twenties, was in that genre.

Trisha:  Those are some fantastic books. I’m a huge fan of Liz Curtis Higgs also!

 

mobile-616012_640Q: If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Lori: You’d find a fairly eclectic mix of traditional Celtic (Scottish mostly) music including songs in Gaelic, to songs by Apologetix (a Christian parody band) to Mark Knopfler (formerly of Dire Straits) to bands like Of Monsters and Men, Lumineers, Lord Huron, The Frozen Ocean, Oh Hellos, Wailing Jennys, and some worship music.  There’d be some Josh Groban and Mary Fahl and Peter Hollens in there too. And sound tracks to movies like Last of the Mohicans.

Trisha:  I enjoy listening to Celtic music also, and love Last of the Mohicans!

 

blur-1869579_640Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Lori: Neither. Both. It’s an organic process and a little different with each book. For Many Sparrows, I’m pretty sure it was the historical backdrop, Dunmore’s War, that started it all. Then came characters, Jeremiah Ring first. My earliest working title for this book was The Frontiersman since I had to call the file something! But story development is a long process (years sometimes) with plenty of time for plot ideas to start slipping in while I’m daydreaming character.  And vice versa.

 

na-woman-2Q: Which character took you by surprise?

Lori:  A secondary character, Rain Crow. For the longest time, I didn’t see her as a real person, I will confess. She was my villain. My bad guy. But at some point, I realized that wasn’t fair—to her or to the story. So I took some time to really delve into her past, her heart—why it was so important for her to hold onto Clare’s son—and came out the other side absolutely in sympathy with her, even though her heart’s desire stands in opposition to my main character, Clare’s. Which made it tougher for me as a writer to resolve their issues satisfactorily.  I got stretched and readers got a far more compelling story than if I’d taken the easy way.

Trisha: I really liked the direction you took with Rain Crow.  I admit, I didn’t like her at first, but then I began to see that she carried a history of deep hurt. Seeing Clare with Rain Crow made me appreciate the strength of Clare’s character even more.

 

coffee-2440074_640Q: What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Lori:  I don’t work at night (my writing brain is pretty much fried by 3 pm), so I’ve never stayed up late. I’m an early riser, so by 8 pm most nights I’m starting to think about sleep. Better to ask what’s the earliest I ever got up to work on this story? That answer would be 3-4am.

Trisha:  I don’t believe that I’ve ever willingly gotten up that early. I’m impressed!

 

pencil-918449_640Q: What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Lori:  Nearly 40,000 words all told! While most of that was trimmed in bits and pieces from all over the place, there was one large chunk that hit the cutting room floor, a much longer version of Clare and Jeremiah’s stay in Wheeling Settlement, in which I introduced a group of female settlers that Clare falls in with during her attempt to locate Jacob, and an older woman who offered her counsel. But since we never saw these characters again after Clare leaves Wheeling, it was decided they slowed the story down at that point so they remain nameless women doing their washing at the creek.

 

Thank you Lori for visiting with us today, it was a pleasure to get to know you better and to chat about ‘Many Sparrows’.  Please feel free to come back any time and visit with us again!

Friends, Lori is giving away 1 autographed, printed copy of her latest book ‘Many Sparrows’.  The giveaway is only open to those in the continental USA. Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is the best part of your day?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*****GIVEAWAY ENDED*****
Winner is: Trixi

Author Interview & Giveaway with Roseanna M. White

I’m excited to have visiting with us today Roseanna M. White.  The first book I read of Roseanna’s was ‘Ring Of Secrets (the culper ring), and I’ve been hooked ever since! Roseanna is generously giving away an autographed copy of her latest book “A Name Unknown (Shadows over England #1)”.

RoseannaJuly2016-185x300Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring.

Being educated at St. John’s Collete (the Great Books School) taught Roseanna to ask questions, to value conversation, and to never accept the simple answer without exploring it for herself. She and her family make their home in the mountains of West Virginia where she and her husband both grew up. Roseanna is a member of ACFW, a frequent speaker at writers events and also small groups of readers, and an unabashed email addict.

Web page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

I recently finished reading A Name Unknown (Shadows over England #1). If you haven’t yet picked up this book, you should!  (click here to read my review)

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Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

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Welcome, Roseanna, I’m so happy to have you visiting with us today!  Let’s start out with a few getting to know you questions, and then we can talk about your latest book!

 

spring-bird-2295431_640Q: What is your favorite season, and why?

Roseanna:  Spring. I love seeing new life sprouting up and those first warm days—before the humidity and big heat of summer set in.

Trisha:  Spring is also my favorite. After a long cold northern winter, to watch the snow melt into green grass and see the first flowers; it can’t be beat!

 

early-spring-2122419_640Q: What is the best part of your day?

Roseanna:  Early, early morning. I rise at 5:30, and I just love that first hour when it’s just me, my coffee, my Bible, and my writing. =)

Trisha:  Wow, you are an early riser! Of course I can’t really say much, I get up at 6:00.
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Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Roseanna:  Some that really stick out to me from that range (a bit newer than 10, but you know) are Trish Perry’s The Guy I’m Not Dating, Julie Lessman’s A Passion Most Pure, and Lisa Samson’s The Passion of Mary Margaret. These are books that have stuck with me for humor, romance, and spirituality all these years. In the older-than-10 realm, gotta go with Francine Rivers—The Mark of the Lion trilogy and Atonement Child, especially.

Trisha:  Those are some really good ones! I knew you had good taste in books!
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Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Roseanna:   Classical and Big Band selections. =)

Trisha:  Great taste in music too!

 

desk-2158142_640Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Roseanna:  I had a few general background sorts of plot points—that I wanted my hero to be of German heritage, not a good speaker, a fabulous writer. That my heroine needed to be a thief. But I’m very much a character-driven writer, so the real story came together as I fleshed out my characters, for sure!
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Q:   Which character took you by surprise?

Roseanna:  One of Rosemary’s little sisters, Olivia. I’d already mentioned her briefly in the beginning, and then I decided that she needed to have a bit of a tragedy befall in order to keep Rosemary on the track she needed to be on. I had no idea at first how important she would end up being to Rosie and the story!

Trisha:  I liked Olivia, she was a fun addition.  I can’t wait to read Rosie’s story!
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Q:   What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Roseanna:  Oh, goodness. I am not a night owl, LOL. So no later than 10 p.m., I’m sure. My brain is mush after that!

Trisha:  I’m with you, I start to shut down after 10 p.m. But occasionally I have been known to stay up late.
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Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Roseanna:  I actually had to add more than I cut—strange for a first draft that was rather long to begin with! So something that wasn’t in the first draft that ended up being . . . two things, actually. The secret society, and the plum at the end (I was just telling my kids this morning about the plum saving the day, LOL.)

Trisha:  I really enjoyed the plum scene.  I’m glad you added it!

 

Thank you so much Roseanna for joining us today. It was fun to chatting with you and getting to know you a little better. Please feel free to come visit again any time!

Friends, Roseanna is offering to giveaway 1 autographed, printed copy of her latest book ‘A Name Unknown’.  The giveaway is only open to those in the continental USA. Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the givaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

To Enter the Giveaway:

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is your favorite season and why?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

*Note:  Receive daily entry points for tweeting about the giveaway, buy using the rafflecopter entry form. 

 

***** The Giveaway Has Ended *****
Winner is: Lynne F.

 

 

 

 

My Favorites (January-July) 2017

The hot-topic question of July that I have seen floating around is:

“What is your favorite book (or series) that you have read this year?”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t possibly pick only one favorite when I’ve read so many amazing books. Thus far I have read 57 books. Now, I know for at least one or two of my awesome blogging friends, this is not a jaw-dropping number. However, as I have been told, “It’s not the number that’s important.” (Major props to my friend Carrie who is well on her way to reading 300 this year)

With that said, I will share with you, my loyal reading friends, the books I have read so far this year that has continued to stick with me long past my finishing of the story. I’ve enjoyed reading others, but these seem to stick with me the longest. Without further adieu, and in no particular order…

Many Sparrows by: Lori Benton
All of You  by: Sarah Monzon
Just the Way You Are by: Pepper Basham
 A Moonbow Night by: Laura Frantz
 In His Eyes by: Stephenia H. McGee
 My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho by: Susanne Dietze
 The Butterfly and the Violin by: Kristy Cambron
  Name Unknown  by: Roseanna M. White
 The Road to Paradise by: Karen Barnett
 So Pure A Heart  by: Amber Lynn Perry

Clicking on the title of the book will take you to Amazon where you can read more about the book. Clicking on the name of the author will take you to the author web page.

I would love to hear from you.

What are a few of your favorite books so far this year? Do you have any that have lingered with you weeks/months after you have read the last page?

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