In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.
I smiled throughout this entire book. It was perfect. Such a welcome, fuzzy, charming YA. There were laugh out loud and swoon worthy moments. Childhood friends/ enemies, Liz and Wes are vying for the perfect parking spot. They are constantly at each other with snarky, witty back and forth. Their friend group has known each other all their lives,and when Michael moves back to town, Liz Buxbaum is sure he is destined to be sure to her romantic hero. With a “Can’t Buy Me Love” vibe scheme going between Liz and Wes, they are determined she will get the prom date of her dreams.
Wes. Favorite YA character ever. In tune, keen sense of humor, honest. I was wary at first at all the changes he wants Liz to make to win her man, but he redeems himself over and over again. With deeper issues like grief over the loss of mother, step-parent relationships and lying, the author does a great job of keeping everything low key and seamlessly woven into an awesome story. Highly recommend this one! Prepare to laugh out loud! I am adding Lynn Painter to my “go to” author list. Amazing debut. Thank you Simon and Schuster.
Content and trigger warnings: cigar smoking by minors, drinking, loss of a parent, sneaking out , kissing, mild swearing.
About the Author
Lynn Painter lives with her husband and pack of wild children in Nebraska, where she is a weekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald and an avid fan of napping. When working on a new book, she can often be found sound asleep on her office floor. Some might say she should grow up and stop randomly dozing off like she’s a toddler, but Lynn considers it part of her writing “process.”
Second Chance Cowboy(Heroes of Shelter Creek, #5)By Claire McEwen
Paperback & ebook, 210 Pages
March 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming
He was her first love…But some things she can’t forget
Busy small-town veterinarian Emily Fielding is finally ready to take on some help. The best man for the job, however, is Wes Marlow—who broke her heart in high school. Though Wes has a way with horses and a way of melting her resolve, Emily needs to keep things purely professional. Wes left her once—will he do it again? Because she can’t lose her heart a second time…
Heroes of Shelter Creek
Book 1: Reunited with the Cowboy
Book 2: After the Rodeo
Book 3: Her Surprise Cowboy
Book 4: Rescuing the Rancher
Book 5: Second Chance Cowboy
Claire McEwen is an award-winning author whose strong heroes and heroines take big, emotional journeys to find their happily-ever-afters. She loves writing stories set in quirky small towns and romantic western settings. Claire lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When not dreaming up new stories, she’s a busy mom who also enjoys gardening, hiking, discovering flea-market treasures and wandering on the beach. A life-long bookworm, she always has her kindle close by.
Two high school sweethearts collide in town as one is making his way back to apologize. Emily Fielding isn’t ready for the interruption to her busy budding Veterinarian clinic. She has had to work hard to overcome the small town belief that she’s second best as the daughter of the original Vet. Two work side by side. Emily’s stubborn, not willing to give up the reigns of all she has built, including her own emotional walls.
Claire McEwen, as an author, explores a youth aging out of foster care and the loving difference a solid, warm home environment can make. Wes changes and matures over the years in so many ways, including taking ownership for how he may have hurt those who nurtured him.
Second Chance Cowboy is a clean romance about learning to forgive, defend, and sacrifice for the ones closest to you. I enjoyed the references to kinder, gentler methods when treating animals as well as the service minded community. Perfect for horse loving readers as a break from the bustle to feel small town warmth. There’s so much to love about how Wes and Emily’s relationship evolves slowly from mistrust to mutual respect through small acts of kindness.
I received a complimentary Digital review copy from Harlequin Heartwarming and Prism Book Tours.
Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.
However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.
Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.
The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.
The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.
Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?
“A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated.”— Foreword Reviews
“…a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings.”— Booklist, starred review
“An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright…This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance.”— Publishers Weekly
I’ve been on a bit of a Naval Historical novel kick lately. After reading Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks, A Captain for Caroline was perfect. They have similar themes, characters and ship based settings… historical fiction at its finest.
Caroline is off to secure her future. Her choices are being narrowed at the hand of her family and of an Englishman living in India. She’s a bluestocking–outspoken, intelligent. Being fluent in political discussion is all but forbidden for ladies. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. She believes this practice in London’s society circles fails to make her a match and leaves her without girls to call friends. Trying to fit in with the crowd, Caroline loses her feisty spirit. Wright teaches an important message about being true to who you are.
Thomas is a sea captain, in charge of helping many of the ladies of England seeking a husband to India. He’s stubborn and hard headed at times. As a reader, you’ll find yourself wanting to yell at him for his assumptions.
With stops and starts in their relationship, Wright builds a historical romance which teaches about the dangers of gossip, the need to be true to yourself and the value of sincere apologies. The villains of the story could have been a little more well fleshed out, but that’s about all I missed in this book. I so loved being swept away at sea once again. The Proper Romance series by Shadow Mountain continues to put out wonderful books!
Content: clean, mild violence.
Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.
She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.
Join the virtual blog tour of A CAPTAIN FOR CAROLINE GRAY (Proper Romance Regency), Julie Wright’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel March 1 – 28, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard an English ship bound for India.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
March 01 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
March 01 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
March 02 Storeybook Reviews (Review)
March 02 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
March 02 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
March 03 Probably at the Library (Excerpt)
March 03 Our Book Confessions (Review)
March 03 Lady with a Quill (Review)
March 04 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)
March 04 Fire & Ice (Review)
March 05 Literary Time Out (Review)
March 05 Among the Reads (Review)
March 06 Books and Socks Rock (Review)
March 07 Encouraging Words (Excerpt)
March 08 So Little Time… (Review)
March 09 For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)
March 10 Laura’s Reviews (Review)
March 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review)
March 11 Heidi Reads (Review)
March 12 Reading with Emily (Review)
March 13 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
March 14 Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)
March 15 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
March 16 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
March 16 Greenish Bookself (Review)
March 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)
March 18 A Darn Good Read (Review)
March 19 Relz Reviewz (Review)
March 20 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
March 20 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)
March 21 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
March 22 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
March 23 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)
March 23 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)
March 24 Captivated Reading (Review)
March 24 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)
March 25 Roseanne E. Lortz (Review)
March 26 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please (Review)
The Soldier’s Unexpected Family(Heroines of Hollydale #3)By Tanya Agler
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 230 Pages
March 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming
He had a plan…She changed it all!
Major Aidan Murphy arrives in the charming small town of Hollydale to take full guardianship of his six-year-old nephew. Only there’s a slight problem—his vivacious, fiery co-guardian. School teacher Natalie Harrison has no intention of letting Aidan take her best friend’s heartbroken little boy away. Now Aidan must convince Natalie that blood is stronger than love…even if his heart tells him otherwise.
Tanya Agler remembers the first set of Harlequin books her grandmother gifted her, and she’s been in love with romance novels ever since. An award-winning author, Tanya makes her home in Georgia with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable rescue beagle. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies and a good cup of tea. Visit her at www.tanyaagler.com or email her at email@example.com.
The Soldier’s Unexpected Family is squeaky clean romance set in Hollydale, a small town with a big heart. Aidan and Natalie are vying for their stewardship of little boy Danny, who lost his mother unexpectedly..one co-guardian a best friend and one an uncle. A lot of the book is taken up by their battering of white way is the best way and which environment will be the best. Planning and discipline or home grown love and stability of placement. There’s discussion of counseling, trauma and avoiding uncomfortable feelings through distraction and projects, or over controlling one’s life plan.
I loved Hollydale’s quirky characters. The pie contest bribes and wars, the Mayor who is willing to look for unconventional leadership options. There is a strong sense of family and duty to country. At times the dialogue seems a bit repetitive between the two main characters. Overall, it’s a light summer read with a homey feel. I loved the larger print paperback and the cover image fits the story well. Thanks to the author who was amazingly kind and to the book tour hosts.
Content and trigger warnings: mention of death, night terrors. Clean.
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly
“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com
Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily
“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
Papa was in the cabin when Lieutenant Peyton came to retrieve his coat that night. Georgana did not know why her stomach twisted when her father expressed his surprise at the visit.
Georgana put her head down. She quickly finished off a last stitch on the coat and wove the tail of thread into the other stitches. The location of the hole made the repair more obvious
than the mending she had done on her father’s coat. She hoped it would meet the lieutenant’s expectations.
“George has been so kind as to mend my coat for me,” Lieutenant Peyton said.
Georgana felt Papa’s gaze. She had very little interaction with the men on the ship beyond relaying messages.
“Ah. I thought it was mine.” He feigned interest in the notes before him on the table, but Georgana saw him watching them.
“I’ve finished, sir.” She held out the coat to Lieutenant Peyton, but his eyes were on an open book sitting on the table. Her heart leaped into her throat. Her sketchbook.
The lieutenant picked it up and flipped through the pages. “Did you draw these, George?”
She wanted to pull his coat over her head. After finishing the mending, she had planned to make her first attempt at drawing a person. Thank heavens she hadn’t already begun.
“These are very good.” He held the book toward the lantern light, examining each image.
“They’re just waves,” Georgana said. She hoped the confession would dissuade him from continuing his perusal.
It didn’t. He gave each page more attention than the silly sketches deserved. “I can never grow tired of looking at waves. You have talent, George.”
Hardly. She bit her tongue, hoping to avoid blushing under his praise. “Your coat, sir.”
The lieutenant finally set down her book. “Thank you.” He inspected the mending. “If I did not already know you came from a naval family, I would ask your father’s profession, Mr. Taylor. Where did you learn how to do this?”
What did she say to that? Grandmother had made her learn mending.
Her father cleared his throat, turning the lieutenant’s attention back to him. “Has Jarvis’s temper cooled?”
Georgana relaxed. As much as she would have preferred to talk to the lieutenant alone, she was grateful her father had stayed in tonight.
“I believe so, sir.”
Lieutenant Peyton held up his coat. “Thank you, George. Good evening, Captain.”
Her father followed him to the door and shut it behind the lieutenant. When the sound of Peyton’s footsteps faded, he whirled.
“Does he know?”
Georgana’s eyes widened. “No, Captain.”
Her father let out a breath. His hand rose to his forehead. “Peyton has shown a marked interest in you of late. Does he suspect?”
Georgana swallowed. “I don’t think so.” Papa remained unaware of the defense lessons with the lieutenant, and she didn’t think he would appreciate knowing. Keeping things from her
father came easily. More easily than it should. She had kept Grandmother’s mistreatment hidden most of her life.
“You must be careful in your interactions with the men on this ship. We cannot be too cautious.” He returned to the table and sat heavily. He picked up his pen again, dipped into the inkwell, and continued the notes from before Lieutenant Peyton’s visit. “I cannot understand why he would take an interest in you.”
“Perhaps . . .”
He looked up and waited.
“Perhaps he saw a lonely cabin boy who needed a friend.” Her voice came out small and shaky.
Papa stared at her, mouth open as if to speak. But no words came. Eventually he closed it and turned back to his work.
Georgana slipped her needle into its place in her trunk, then plucked up her book and pencils. She took them to the chair by the windows and set a lantern on a sill. Papa would have to be her first unsuspecting subject.
They didn’t speak again that night. She drew until her father lay on his cot and let down the curtains. When his exhales deepened, she stopped her work on his likeness and turned to a fresh sheet.
Georgana drew lines for the bulwark, then outlined a head and shoulders. Arms resting against the rail. Hair flying back. Eyes closed. Ends of his lips lifted. She held the book back to
examine her work. The picture did not look like the lieutenant.
Grandmother cried out in her head. Mistake! Mistake!
Her fingers slowly, quietly tore the page from her book. She eased the window open enough to stick her hand through and released the page into the night air. It drifted this way and that until coming to rest on the surface of the water. The paper tarried a moment, then faded into the deep.
Chapter 6 Pages. 51-54
Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.
When we opened this cookbook from Shadow Mountain, I asked my family chef which recipes looks good. She responded “all of them.” With thick pages and crisp photos, this instant pot guide book offers many mouth watering options. We will be trying the mashed potatoes, Italian Pot Roast, French Dip sandwiches, and Hot Chocolate. We loved the simple instructions, tips and tricks in the opening chapter. Perfect for easy to make, quick meals, the Six Sisters are masters at their art. Over, the years we have used their cookbooks to whip up yummy dishes. We loved the instant cooking option.
About the Six Sisters:
The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—started their blog as a way to keep in touch after they moved out of their house and started families of their own. In just a few years their blog has become one of the top sites for women, with millions of visitors each month following the sisters’ recipes and tips for running a home. The sisters live in California, Texas, and Utah.
young woman survives the unthinkable in this tale of family, love, and
resilience, set against the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a
prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept
the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family
responsibilities and her own desires; she longs for the handsome Jacob, even
though he treats her like a child, and is confused by her attraction to the
Roman freedman Tiberius, a man who should be her sworn enemy.
the growing turmoil threatens to tear apart not only her beloved city,
Jerusalem, but also her own family. As the streets turn into a bloody battleground
between rebels and Romans, Esther’s journey becomes one of survival. She
remains fiercely devoted to her family, and braves famine, siege, and slavery
to protect those she loves.
emotional and impassioned saga, based on real characters and meticulous
research, seamlessly blends the fascinating story of the Jewish people with a
timeless protagonist determined to take charge of her own life against all
on an incredible true story!
NOTE AND HISTORICAL OVERVIEW:
back matter includes an Author Note, which gives historical context and
explains author’s inspiration for the book. Included as well is an historical
overview by an eminent scholar of the period.
DRIVEN HISTORICAL FICTION:
of THE RED TENT and THE DOVEKEEPERS will appreciate this incredibly detailed
and accurate depiction of historical events, woven within a richly told and
emotionally complex story of growth.
EMPOWERED FEMALE HEROINE:
the constraints of society and the savagery of war, Esther is an independent
thinker exploring her identity and her faith—and showing unimaginable strength
in the face of trauma.
BROUGHT TO LIFE:
destruction of the Temple in 70 CE by the Romans is a crucial part of the
Jewish story, but it’s often lost amid more well known historical legends. The
depiction of Esther’s faith is realistic and moving to a modern audience.
role of faith and family obligation is explored in depth.
story will resonate with people who love Biblical history, Israel and stories
about faith, courage and family bonds.
remarkable, mysterious, and meticulously researched story is one that demands
to be told.”—Kirkus Reviews
writing is clear, smooth, and accessible. An engaging story for historical
fiction fans.”—School Library Journal
Allegra Goodman, author The Cookbook Collector
by the Junior Library Guild
writer has had the greatest influence on you?
grandmother. Although she was never published, she always wrote short stories
and essays. Her passion for books and reverence for the written word had
a tremendous influence on me.
I always dreamed of becoming an author, I never found a way to fit it into my
already bursting-at-the-seams life with 4 kids and a busy career. Finding
thirty minutes of “quiet time” to write seemed about as realistic as
running a marathon.
At the age
of 50, I figured it was either now or never. It took me another ten years to
finish so I’m hardly the best person to ask for advice! I wrote in those
stolen moments between work and family, carpools and laundry. But the thing is
– those stolen moments eventually add up.
I see myself
more as a cautionary tale than an inspiration! ! But I suppose, if I can do it,
you can too. It’s never too late.
And my next
piece of advice? Don’t give up, finish! Some writers sprint to the finish
line and some (like me) hobble. But if you keep going, you’ll eventually get
Favorite childhood books
Hollisters – a mystery series for children. We used to get two every
month in the mail (remember what that is?) and my brother and I used to
fight over who got to read them first. I also remember pouring over the
biographies in the children’s section of the library. I don’t remember any of
the books but I still feel the distinctive ink and paper smell of that
neighborhood library and the blast of cold air from the noisy air conditioner.
impossible question! There are so many outstanding books and incredible writers
movies that take me back in time to exciting historical events, shown through
the eyes of someone there. Movies like Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List,
and Exodus to name a few.
Becoming a writer
avid readers, I’ve always had romantic notions of being a writer. Struck by the
muse, writing into the wee hours of the night and all that…..Being a writer
always seemed more like a fantasy than a realistic career path.
So I never
actually decided to become e a writer. I did decide, though, to write this
particular 2,000 year-old- love story. When I heard about the gravestone of
Claudia Aster (on whose life Rebel Daughter is based), I was intrigued. I
wanted to know more and slowly – very, very slowly since it took me 10 years! –
I wrote her story. It still feels slightly pretentious to call myself a writer
but maybe when I see the published book, I’ll feel like I earned the title!
do you write?
desk in the attic, surrounded by piles of books, bills, recipes and other
unruly papers that refuse to be tamed.
character most like me
I love to read about (and identify with) bold, adventurous heroines who change
the world, I’m probably most like Elizabeth Strout’s grumpy Olive Kitteridge or
Agatha Christie’s stubborn old Miss Marple.
Rock or old Country Music. When I’m sure my kids are at a safe distance away
(like in a foreign country), I’ve been known to crank up the Dolly Parton and
dance around the living room!
with fresh mint if I’m feeling like being nice to myself and instant decaf
coffee if not
I never feel
guilty about the books I’ve read, only about the ones I haven’t.
DAUGHTER takes us back in history to 70 CE, a tumultuous time for the
Jewish community in Jerusalem. What inspired you to write about this particular
period of time?
I didn’t set out to write about this
period. I fell into it by accident! I was inspired to write Esther’s story
after learning about the discovery of her two-thousand year-old gravestone, an
exciting and important archaeological find. It was the mystery behind the stone
that drew me in and made me want to know more. Who was she? How did a girl from
Jerusalem become a Roman woman buried in Italy?
there, I began to research the time period. I was stunned that I knew so little
about one of the most formative eras in human history. It is a fascinating
period that has many parallels with our world today, especially the civil
discord and religious fanaticism.
tell the story of Esther, the daughter of a priest. Esther is brave, bold, and
unafraid in spite of the challenges she faces as a young woman, including an
impending marriage to a man she does not love. Did you face any
challenges in creating a character that was historically accurate yet infused
with the ability to see beyond what was expected of her?
a great question because of course girls in the first-century didn’t have the
freedom we’re used to today. Sexism was not only alive and well, it was
considered necessary for the proper functioning of society. And I was
absolutely committed to writing a book that was historically accurate. I felt
an obligation not only to the real historical people whose story I was telling,
but also to my readers.
challenge was how to portray a bright, curious young woman who lived thousands
of years ago. For example, Esther had a thirst for knowledge, an innate human
trait. She wouldn’t have gone to school, of course, but scholars have
determined that there were women who were literate in first-century Jerusalem.
So she probably learned to read and write at home. And in Esther’s case, from
her father. I had to show how Esther navigated the very real gender barriers of
explore the daily life in Jerusalem in great detail – from chores and religious
practices to the struggles between the Jews and the Romans. Can you share a bit
about your research process?
call it a “process”! It was more like an obsession. I had a sense of obligation
to portray the time and setting as accurately as possible and a fanatic
attention to detail. I read literally hundreds of books, dissertations and
conference proceedings. I also worked closely with the leading historians of
this era. Luckily, I live in Israel and had access to the artifacts at the
Israel Museum, the archaeological sites all over the country, and the
world-class scholars at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University. My “process”
is why this book took me 10 years to write! In retrospect, I realize that I
went completely overboard with the research but it truly was a labor of love.
were some interesting facts you discovered that did not make it into the book?
time do you have? There are so many! My first draft of the book was over 1000
pages because of all the “interesting facts”. My editor insisted that I
couldn’t describe everything – how face cream was made from sheep fat or bread
baked in clay ovens.
do you hope readers take away from REBEL DAUGHTER?
readers are taken away! I want them to have the feeling of going back in
time. I want them to enjoy the trip. That’s my main hope. And if the experience
makes them see our own world in a new light, then that’s a bonus.
Lori Banov Kaufmann:
soon as she learned of the discovery of the first-century tombstone that
inspired Rebel Daughter, Lori Banov Kaufmann wanted to know more. She was
captivated by the ancient love story the stone revealed and resolved to bring
it back to life.
becoming a full-time writer, Lori was a strategy consultant for high-tech
companies. She has an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Harvard
Business School. She lives in Israel with her husband and four adult children.
A Valetine’s Proposal(Cupid’s Crossing #1)By Kim Findlay
Paperback & ebook, 227 Pages
February 1, 2021 by Harelquin Heartwarming
Their engagement is pretend
Cupid has other plans…
Wedding planner Mariah Van Delton has a plan to save the charming small town of Carter’s Crossing—by turning it into a romance destination! All Mariah needs is a very public Valentine’s Day proposal. And her only option? A fake one between her and the handsome town veterinarian and wedding hater, Nelson Carter. But a little charade between adversaries might just be the start of something undeniably real…
Kim Findlay lives in Toronto, Canada, with her very handsome husband, two strapping sons, and possibly the world’s cutest spaniel. When she can get time away from her accounting business, Kim can be found traveling, sailing, reading, or writing, depending on the season, time of day, and her energy level. You can find her at kimfindlay.ca, @missheyer74, or on Facebook.
“To be clear, you want me to kiss you the next time we’re out together. Like, where there are people around.” He didn’t think the farm would count.
And, totally unrelated, he wondered if they should go out somewhere tonight, someplace where people were around.
“No, I think we need to practice first.”
Practice? Nelson straightened on the couch. Oh yeah, he was up for that.
“I’m good, but if you want a chance to make sure you’re up to speed…” He raised his eyebrows. This research was sounding better all the time.
“Of course you think you’re a good kisser. All guys do.”
There she went, giving him grief again.
“I am a good kisser. Do you need references?”
Mariah waved off his assertion. “You really think any woman would tell you if you were bad? We’re brought up to be nice.”
If this was Mariah being nice…
“You think you need to teach me how to kiss?” Seriously, this woman was enough to drive a man to frustration. Frequently.
She was sitting upright, chin raised. “I don’t know if I need to teach you or not. But I’d like to try it in private first, in case we need to work on it.”
What, she was going to critique his kissing performance? Not happening. He’d make sure she had no complaints. And he needed to derail this line of thought right now.
“Mariah, I don’t know what kind of ‘working on this’ you think we might need, but if you want to kiss me you could just say so.”
Perfect getaway book to read for Valentine’s Day! There is so much to love about Carter’s Crossing. The people, the old mill, the vet and the atmosphere. I read the book in one day and enjoyed every page. Heartwarming, clean and a feel good story. It was nice to see that both Mariah and Nelson were imperfect and real. They didn’t’t get along all the time but they were willing to work through things with determination and hard work. They each had histories to overcome. It is refreshing to have real characters. Nelson is caring and fun, Mariah independent and headstrong. I also enjoyed the healthy sense of self Nelson had come to through his experiences. Mariah being homeschooled on a boat at see was a fun touch. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I received a copy of the book to review from the publisher. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Not all mothers are created equal…
Some are better at hiding the truth.
Crippled with anxiety, Sophie is desperate to
overcome the pain of losing her husband and only child in a freak car accident.
Living and working in isolation with only the company of her dog Miss Molly,
Sophie agrees to take on a job reviewing the manuscript of an up-and-coming
writer. But this isn’t any story. It is one that unearths old secrets and to
discover the truth, Sophie must find the courage to embark on a search that
will change her life forever.
On the outside, Love Mommy blogging queen
Madelyn-May has it all. To her online community she is the perfect mother. She
has a successful husband, perfect twins, and an idyllic life. What they don’t
know is Madelyn-May also has a secret. When her past collides with the present,
Madelyn-May is forced to make a choice that could destroy everything she loves.
Would you risk destroying a family, if it meant
healing your own heart? Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing everything
The Secrets We Keep is a confronting look at the
complexities of family and lengths a mother will go to for her child.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“If you want to add this to your To Be Read
List, you certainly can because this nail-bitingthriller gets you and at the same time makes you emotional. There is a
beautiful pain this bookleaves behind, and I certainly couldn’t figure
out the cover till the end and that is also somethingthat I was not
expecting… NOT AT ALL”
“This is one intense, twisted, addictive,
complex, jaw-dropping novel! Not only is this a very well-written book with
wonderfully interesting characters, but the suspense builds at just the right
pace asthe story unfolds.”
“This novel had quite a few
twists and turns and the twists are so juicy that I couldn’t stop reading”
“The story and how the
characters are interconnected is an interesting twist, I can’t say I’ve readbefore. This book was hard to put down because I felt like I was a spectator
with a front row seat toone highly dysfunctional family.”
“The book touches on so many
sources of pain addressing each with intelligence, empathy, andhumanity. It is a true thriller in women’s fiction”
‘The Secrets We Keep was by far
the best book I have read this year. Many twists and turnsthroughout kept me looking forward to my reading time each day. The ending
Review: That was one wild ride. Twists and turns of plot no one would expect. The detail in the chapters of the main character’s backstory was too much for me and I skimmed them. A thriller which also points out the dangers of secrest and haf-truths. Nikki Lee Taylor shows how anxiety and PTSD can rob a person’s life as well as the dangers in fake personas. Readers should prepare for several triggers. Psychological thriller with a fast moving plot told from several points of view. Unpredictable and action packed.
Content: abuse, sexual abuse, violence, swearing, extramarital affair
Nikki Lee Taylor is a long-time newspaper journalist
turned fiction writer. She is also a dreamer, a doer, a storyteller, a coffee
lover, and fur mum to two golden retrievers Max and Sam.
She spends most of her time staring into space,
walking between worlds, and creating out-loud character dialogue that sounds a
lot like talking to herself in the shower. She stays up late plotting and
planning the lives of characters yet to be created and starts every day
embraced by the warmth of a good coffee.
She is a courageous booktrovert who lives life with
her right foot in NSW, Australia and the left in a world that exists only in
She reads books out loud to anyone who’ll listen and
drives her husband mad spending all her free time with friends who exist only
on the page.