My Spring TBR list

IMG_7290I have been doing lots of writing but that does not slow down my reading. And I really have some good books in my to be read stack. Perhaps you will find a new book to fall for love with this spring!

Let’s see where my books will take me in history because all of them appear to be historical. The Governess of Penwythe Hall  by Sarah E. Ladd is first. Cornwall, England, 1811 the novel is full of secrets and danger and of course love.

Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan writes of two sleuths in 1940 Boston who investigate crimes possibly related to the war in Europe. I always love a mystery!

1822 Pennsylvania.  Love’s Awakening by Laura Franz continues the Ballantyne Legacy as Ellie opens a day school for young ladies. It’s more difficult than she imagines as family loyalties clash.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Fall of Arthur. I really don’t know what this is about except King Arthur. I think it has poetry and commentary. It was edited by Christopher Tolkien. I’ll see what I think.

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund is a Young Adult novel. I’ve read all the others in the series and look forward to continuing the novels set in 1395 England.

I’ve been waiting a while to read Roseanna White’s An Hour Unspent, 1915 England. Once London’s top thief, Barclay turns the corner and now seeks a way to help the war efforts.

Kristi Ann Hunter’s A Return of Devotion is book two in the Haven Manor series. Daphne has led a secluded life as a housekeeper. She has lots to overcome if she is to face the outside world.

I love the time period in A Heart  for Freedom by Janet Grunst. 1775 Virginia. The war adds additional tension to Heather’s marriage.

Hope you find a book that you like. Remember you call always read one from my Revolutionary Faith series!

What are you reading this spring?

 

A Very Austen Valentine Review and Giveaway

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Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: A Very Austen ValentineA-Very-Austen-Valentine-Book-Cover-200x300

Author: Robin Helm

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency), Religious and Inspirational

Release Date: December 29, 2018

Six beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and PrejudicePersuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels.

Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.

I Dream of You by Robin Helm

Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.

Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile

Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis

Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?

Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite

A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.

My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook

Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?

The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye

In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse”follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

My Review

As a reader and lover of Jane Austen and her works, this collection of six short stories whetted my appetite to reread the classics and watch a few Austen movies. The authors add a bit more depth to the familiar lives of beloved characters. I had never thought about Valentine’s Day or Valentines in the early 1800s, but these stories center around the love life of the participants through the words on Valentines or letters passing through their hands.

In this collection the reader meets Elizabeth and Darcy a year after their marriage when their love life needs a little attention. Then another story takes on the love entanglement of their daughter Charlotte years later. I love meeting their children! Two other stories concentrate on elements of ‘what if’ during their courtship. My Austen imagination soars believing the events transpired in real literature time.

The most humorous tale involves the courtship of Lady Catherine de Borough by the sometimes silly and awkward Sir Walter Elliot. I definitely now see Lady Catherine in a different light. The last tale involves the romance of Sir Elliot’s daughter with Frederick Wentworth of the navy.

Personally, I can never get enough of Austen! Thank you ladies for your creative imaginations and for sharing with all of the Austen fans.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

robin helmRobin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: GuardianSoulFire, and Legacy (a guardian angel protects a supernaturally gifted girl), the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy), and Understanding Elizabeth (Regency sweet romance).

She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017, and A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2which was released on December 29, 2018.

New releases for 2019 include More to Love, a standalone historical sweet romance dealing with body image; Lawfully Innocent, a historical U.S. Marshal romance book in the Lawkeepers series; Maestro, a historical sweet romance featuring a brilliant musician and his student; and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3.

She lives in sunny South Carolina where she teaches piano and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.

 

More from Robin

Do you love Historical romance, but avoid “those” covers like the plague?

Would you enjoy an anthology featuring six Valentine-themed novellas set in the Regency period written by Christian authors?

In A Very Austen Valentine, stories range from a young wife searching for a way to bring her marriage back to the way it was, to a laugh-out-loud courtship between Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

Misunderstandings, concealed identities, and romance abound.

There is even a sequel featuring the children of the Darcys and the Brandons.

Every reader will find something to love in this wonderful collection.

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, March 25

Christian Bookaholic, March 25

Blogging With Carol, March 26

Britt Reads Fiction, March 26

Reflections from My Bookshelves, March 27

For Him and My Family, March 27

Godly Book Reviews, March 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 28

Emily Yager, March 29

Connect in Fiction, March 29

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 30

Moments, March 31

Mary Hake, March 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 1

Pause for Tales, April 1

Creating Romance, April 2

Book by Book, April 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 4

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

janicesbookreviews, April 5

A Reader’s Brain, April 5

Just the Write Escape, April 6

Inklings and notions, April 7

The Becca Files, April 7

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away

Grand Prize: a $50 Amazon gift card
1st Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1
2nd Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 2
3rd Place: A set of three ebooks – Reader’s Choice of any three of my books and
4th Place: a $5 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/ddfa/a-very-austen-valentine-celebration-tour-giveaway

My hometown is famous for…

IMG_7249 (2)Let me preface this blog topic with I’m from a small town. Very small town in north Louisiana–Gibsland. Have you heard of it? Probably not. It is between Minden and Arcadia. Does that help? How about Bossier City and Ruston. Better?

Well, Gibsland is famous for…. Bonnie and Clyde. Does that ring a bell? I know renown criminals are not the usual topics in my blogs. I tend to write about pleasant things like flowers, historic figures, art, books. Not gangsters. But when you are from Gibsland, the first thing anyone remembers is the last place this couple ate a meal and met their deaths. The second thing you might know is that Gibsland is known as the Jonquil capital.

On March 29, Netflix is releasing a movie that was filmed in these beautiful wooded hills close to my home. The movie is “The Highwaymen” starring Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, and Kathy Bates. Believe me when I say that Kevin Costner caused quite a stir while he was filming here. The movie follows two former Texas Rangers who are to bring down Bonnie and Clyde. I can’t wait to see this view of the well-known story.

IMG_7039A few miles from my house is a monument set up on the spot where the couple were killed. It’s not a monument in honor of Bonnie and Clyde but for the capturing (killing) of the two. Through the years we would take my grandfather to the site to see the monument. He was close by the day that the bodies were brought into a drugstore in Arcadia, laid out for the public to see. He was one of the ones in line. Not something I would have wanted to view, but many adults of the time had heard so much about Bonnie and Clyde. My great-great-uncle was a photographer for the Shreveport paper and took many of the original photographs of the car and the bodies at the scene.

bonnie and clydeSo, if you watch “The Highwaymen,” remember there is a real town still alive and well who has this as its claim to fame. There is a Bonnie and Clyde Festival in May each year, and Arcadia has the Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days. Stop by the Bonnie and Clyde Museum in Gibsland.

For what is your town/city famous?

Why do you think people want to remember notorious criminals with museums and festivals? 

Book Signing

IMG_7244Thank you to all my friends and family who came by the book signing today at The Avenue Christian Bookstore in Ruston, Louisiana. It is always a pleasure to work with Vicki and Megan for their help and gracious presence. As always your book store is amazing!

IMG_E7187If you are local and were unable to purchase your copy (or copies) of one of my books, you can still contact me for a signed copy of any of the three books in the Revolutionary Faith series.  Also, for those of you far, far away I can easily mail you one. Let me know.

Happy reading everyone!

https://amzn.to/2t47szc

 

Thank You

IMG_7178I need to stop and thank everyone for a successful release of Bring Me Near. The flowers are for you! I could not have done it without so many people working to make this publication special and memorable. The process of publication is long and arduous but so very worth it to finally hold the book in my hands.

Thank you to my publisher and editors at Celebrate Lit. You kept me on track and worked diligently to create a beautiful book. Roseanna White once again created a gorgeous cover. I’m so pleased with all three of the covers for the series.

IMG_7114 (1)My advanced readers, or my street team, are awesome. I hope I didn’t scare you off from joining me again for the next novel. Thank you for your time, your critiques, your reviews, and overall support. I received many comments that I will use over and over to inspire me to continue writing. My team of readers for Bring Me Near was Katie G., Boots M., Sarah H., Charlotte P., Sally M., Terri W., Melissa W., Mary C., Donna G., Nancy W., Diane F., Gloria B., Judy K., Katherine H., Linda M., Dot G., Sandy D., and Becky S. You are the best!

My blog tour with Celebrate Lit ran from February 28- March 13. Thank you to all of the bloggers for your time and reviews. It is always a joy to work with such a dedicated group of readers, writers, and bloggers.

img_e7187-2.jpgNext is a new release book signing on March 23 at the Avenue Christian Bookstore in Ruston, Louisiana. I hope to see many family and friends at this event.

I will continue to promote the Revolutionary Faith Series at book clubs, book events, festivals, and social clubs. I am over half way in the writing of Book Four Draw Me to Your Side. Keep your comments coming as we continue this journey together.

Let me know what you think about the series and what you expect for Book Four!

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“Don’t Tread on Me”

american flagI love flags. I am a bit like Sheldon on “Big Bang Theory.” I want to know the meaning, the significance of the colors, the symbolism of the designs. Take the flag of the United States for an example. Every stripe, star, or color has a meaning. The symbolism makes it ours; something we can be proud of even today.

In my classroom with my students, I have them research a Spanish speaking country. One component is to include the flag and its meaning. You’d be surprised at what we learn.

So, it isn’t surprising that I latched on to a new flag in Bring Me Near, Revolutionary Faith Book Three. The words on the banner will not be anything new to you. “Don’t Tread on Me.” Yes, this flag was designed by one of my favorite Revolution characters, Christopher Gadsden, from Charles Town, South Carolina, in 1775.

join or dieAt the Continental Congress in 1775, a suggestion was passes around that the newly created Navy needed a flag. The creation of the flag is still attributed to Gadsden. A bit of history–preceding his rendition of the flag time includes the political symbol that Benjamin Franklin drew in 1754 of a disconnected serpent with the caption “Join or Die.”

The 1775 flag was on a bright yellow background with a coiled gray rattlesnake in the center. The bold words became a motto for the Revolution.

IMG_7131Just looking at it scares me. I am from the south. The rattlesnake is not a sign of friendship or a welcome addition to any garden. I hate them passionately. And, I have a respect for the danger and harm one can do. As a child, I learned to watch my path through the woods, retreat when I see one, and give them the distance and respect they need.

Gadsden and the people of South Carolina felt the same. The rattlesnake was seen as a noble and useful creature. It warned the enemy (man, beast) before it struck. It did not attack unless disturbed or frightened. It only struck in self-defense, and then it was deadly.

Think about the American Revolution. The people in the colonies had an enemy, Britain, rattlesnakethat continued to pursue the colonists with unwanted laws and petitions. The colonists (or the rattlesnake) could only take so much abuse. If Britain continued to tread on their rights, the colonists would attack. A warning. A deadly reminder.

I have this flag hanging on my bookcase as I write my novels. It is a reminder of a people (my ancestors and yours) who in the beginning never wanted war or separation. Yet, Britain became an enemy and her people had to strike back or be trampled.

Do you think Gadsden’s flag was a good choice?

FYI: The official flag of the Continental Navy  was the Grand Union Flag. The most popular symbol of the American Revolution was the Don’t Tread on Me flag.