Review and Giveaway Georgia Ann–English Rose

Georgia Ann

About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Georgia Ann English Rose

Two Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Just say the word Charleston and I am there in my mind, wanting to be there in person. In Georgia Ann—English Rose the adventures are endless, whether in Charleston, on the High Seas, or Tripoli, the characters are thrown into action for survival and rescue. The prospect of landing in a harem or marring the wrong man because of a whisper of a promise aren’t to be taken lightly in the 1700s.

Danger lurks today as we travel but we expect to reach the destination with little discomfort. Stories of piracy, abduction, and slavery still exist too. But the feats of bravery in this novel beat beyond what most of us face in a lifetime.

If the reader wants a fast-paced read, I’d recommend Georgia Ann—English Rose. The characters resonate as flesh and blood always a heartbeat away from danger.

I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite historical characters, Christopher Gadsden, has a role, alluding to the idea of war with the British.

About the Author

Elva Cobb Martin

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

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and theylie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economyfrom the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

Cloves

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by.  And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

Elva Cobb Martin

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

Giveaway

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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway

Please leave your comments. Is there a special spice that you enjoy?

December Giveaway

We’ve made it to the joyful Christmas Season. I hope you and yours are counting your blessings as you concentrate on those things that matter most. May God be in the middle of it all, the focus of all your celebrations.

I’m giving away a print copy of Bring Me Near by me and one of All That Glitters by Jennifer Sienes to US residents. Please comment in order to enter for your chance to win one of the books.

What traditions do you plan to include this year in your celebrations? Or perhaps share a favorite recipe or treat? Or a gift idea?

Because Fiction November Article and Giveaway

Time for another Because Fiction article and giveaway. This month I’m giving away a copy of Bring Me Near. Click below and read the article and enter.

Marguerite Martin Gray

#BecauseFiction November Editions!Hello readers, I hope you had a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving. It is so hard to believe that Christmas is here. We are decking our halls (and our yard) just like each year….but Christmas is meaning more to me this year. It is easy to get caught up in the hussle and bussle but this year, with all that has happened. We always try to make Christ the center of our Christmas celebration, but I think this year with all that we have experienced, we are thankful to be able to celebrate Christ. I hope this Christmas is a blessed one for each of you, readers! Speaking of celebrating… We have some fun things coming up at Celebrate Lit. We have our Black Friday Sale going on today…Celebrating with FREE books! That’s what I call a celebration! We also have our Cyber Monday Sale coming up on Monday, Nov 30 with MORE FREE books! WHAAAAAT?????!!!!!  Our 4th Annual 12 Days of Christmas is coming December 13. 12 days of videos featuring a different book each day. Did I mention there will be giveaways? Oh yes. 12 days of giveaways with books, gift cards, and more! If you want to keep up with all the fun, be sure to follow Celebrate Lit on Facebook or join our Celebrate Lit Community Forum. WHEW! Okay. Speaking of fun….. We have a lot of fun for you in this edition. Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas. Plus giveaways and a free book. YAY! Be sure to visit each authors article to find their latest news and fun.  I hope you have the merriest, the most blessed of Christmases, dear reader friends.Sandy BarelaOwner of Celebrate Lit Ministries
Visit the #BecauseFiction Website
Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Contemporary & Romance Edition with featured authors such as Chautona Havig, Michelle Keener, and Melissa Wardwell!

https://mailchi.mp/fce2924155b3/becausefiction-magazine-november-contemporary-fiction-giveaways-5867046
Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Women’s Fiction & Suspense Edition with featured authors such as Sara Blackard, Susan K. Beatty, and Dana Mentink!

https://mailchi.mp/73c5e9f7ba28/becausefiction-magazine-november-suspense-womens-fiction-giveaways-5865930
Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Historical Edition with featured authors such as Misty M. Blossom Turner, and Caryl McAdoo!

https://mailchi.mp/5226e89a5afb/becausefiction-magazine-november-historical-fiction-giveaways-5865938

Review and Giveaway Her Merriweather Hero

About the Book

Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

She only needed a repairman to help fix up her beach house.

For marine sergeant, Tyler Banner, nothing could be further from the memories of his time in Iraq than the slow, easy pace on Merriweather Island. Taking up a job as a physical trainer serves to keep him in shape while he enjoys a little downtime. Making friends with the local vet—veterinarian, that is—on his morning jog is just a bonus.

When Kendall’s sister tricked her into recruiting Tyler’s help one day, she didn’t fortify herself against a breach to her heart. Making friends with the marine was easy, but helping him overcome the PTSD that holds him captive isn’t. As she picks her way across a minefield of memories and horrors Tyler endured, Kendall begins to hope he could be the man she’s prayed for.

Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?

This “Merriweather book” is the fourth in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love coming back to the series as each author adds more to the experience of the islands. One of the characters in this novel, Mallory, states “I can’t say I’ve ever been in a situation like yours, but I have experienced loss and the fear of losing someone.”

I think we all can say that. It is a real fear. Fears grip in a fast hold. Fear of moving, changing, growing, losing, loving. But letting that fear go or better yet giving that fear to God releases power and strength to live and grow through the pain and uncertainty. Also, the blessings flow from the relinquished fear.

What an example of the possibility of fear: a military tour overseas where death and wounds prevail. How does one release that fear? The same way a parent lets a child go to college or ride his bike or drive a car. By God’s grace and love. Bad things happen, but He has that in his embrace too.

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.

This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.

Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?

This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.

Blog Stops

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 27

Rebekah Reads, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Life, Love, Writing, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 29

Batya’s Bits, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103a0/her-merriweather-hero-celebration-tour-giveaway

I can’t wait to read your comments!

Rejoice, Again and Again…

Thanksgiving 2020! Who would have guessed what the year would hold? Well, God knew before the New Year’s bell tolled. We can and should rejoice and be thankful even with what 2020 has dealt to our “normal” lives.

My sister sent a challenge to all my sisters and me (four of us) earlier this week: collect the little treasures from the day that God gifts to us and share at the end of the day. Amazing results. Thanks for the reminder, Sis!

On that day I sat in the rental car office awaiting my rental since my car had to make a detour to the service department. For an hour and a half, I read, walked, prayed, and thought about the little treasures. Wait, wasn’t I having to spend extra money for a rental, plus money to fix my car? Yep! But the challenge was to find treasures. I did…because of shortage of economy cars to rent, I received a brand new 600 miles RAV 4! I felt like a princess. Certainly not what I was expecting. A little treasure for me to enjoy for a week.

My list grows daily, hourly…even in 2020 when time expands and warps into new dimensions:

–multiple daily walks with Tully, my rescue 2020 dog

–weekly FaceTime family events full of laughter and shared memories

–new job encouraging 270 online high school students

–precious one on one time with individual family members including a few new additions

–extra hours to read and discover new authors and bits of history on literary adventures

–almost daily visits with my parents who are mostly isolating and staying healthy

–worship, praise, and fellowship (small numbers) with my church family

–writing and receiving cards and notes of encouragement

–renovating a couple of houses and managing a couple of Airbnbs (huge learning curve)

–perfecting some recipes (petit fours and chocolate tart) and making healthy food choices

–oatmeal with Bumbleberry Honey, a gift from a shower I hosted, and hot chocolate with marshmallows

Of course, I rejoice in my faithful, ever present, loving relationship with my husband which has blessed me in this 2020 chaos becoming an anchor that all is not bizarre and new. I can’t forget my children, family, and friends, a constant in the craziness.

So, I’m still finding those little treasures that God is faithful to leave. I’m praying I continue to recognize them in the mundane and the awesome path of life.

I’m sure you have a few to share. Happy Thanksgiving!

Review and Giveaway What You Said to Me

About the Book

Book: What You Said to Me

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 2020

Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.

What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I say this every time I read a book in this series: Jillian is my favorite genealogist. In fact, she the only one I “know.” I want her job! Her character expands and grows in each book. Also, who doesn’t love her father with his immense amount of wisdom and love for helping families maneuver through life’s difficult turns?

The split time format is something I am loving in lots of novels. Two seemingly unconnected stories wind their ways through the pages to a point of collision. The moment of contact and connection is a highlight of the novel.

Through the series the characters, major and minor, have developed with depth, making them friends more than fiction. There is a love element that is unresolved, so I do hope there is another genealogist/lawyer mystery ahead.

I still want to pretend to be a genealogist. Does DAR member count? I had to research the death, birth, marriage, and military angles of eight generations. Oh, but I didn’t have to piece together a difficult puzzle like Jillian. Welcome to an inspiring work pulling on the need for forgiveness, strength, wisdom, and letting go of the past.

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.

More from Olivia

Careful Words

“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”

Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.

I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.

I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.

My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”

If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.

Olivia Newport

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Remembrancy, November 22

Connect in Fiction, November 22

lakesidelivingsite, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Robin’s Nest, November 24

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 25

Mamma Loves Books, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 26

Lis Loves Reading, November 26

Hallie Reads, November 26

Older & Smarter?, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Inklings and notions, November 28

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 28

The Write Escape, November 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 29

Blogging With Carol, November 29

Mary Hake, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Artistic Nobody, November 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Betti Mace, December 1

Worthy2Read, December 1

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 1

Lots of Helpers, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 2

Amanda Tero, blog, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103f1/what-you-said-to-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Leave your comments here. And….good luck!

Sylvan Reads–My newsletter

The first of my newsletters is out!. Hopefully, you will sign up! Only a few a year, so not a big commitment. I’d love to have all my blog followers be a part of my newsletter updates. http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1

Do historic venues, front porch reads, and voyages inspire you? As someone who loves all things historical, I read and write inspirational and historical fiction for those who crave old homes, gardens, and a good cup of tea.

SIGN UP for Sylvan Reads, my quarterly newsletter, for updates on my writing journey, new release information, book reviews, and more.

You will receive a FREE short story, “The Pull of Time.” To sign up use this link: http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1

Thankful for Our Readers Multi-Author Giveaway!!!

Hey, friends and readers. My publisher is Celebrate Lit. I enjoy these multi-author giveaways so much. I’m giving away Draw Me to Your Side. Be sure to enter.


We want you to know how thankful we are for you! Your thoughts, your prayers, your support – They mean so much! Thanksgiving being in the month of November, I have teamed up with Celebrate Lit and other authors to offer a fun giveaway just to honor you!


We want you to have a chance to win 40+ of books or a $500 Amazon card to buy a ton of books yourself in the Celebrate Lit 3rd Annual Thankful for Our Readers Multi-Author Giveaway!

Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/1017a/3rd-annual-thankful-for-our-readers


The event and giveaway is going on now through November 14.

What a great time of year to win 40+ books! Good luck.