Thursday, May 6, 2021

Guest Post: Depression Era Lesson for Today By Stephanie Landsem

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.


About the book:

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.
As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can't protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.




Depression Era Lesson for Today

By Stephanie Landsem 



My dad, who was a child during the Great Depression, had a saying that still holds true today:


Use it up.

Wear it out.

Make it do

or do without.


Good advice, and after the upheaval of 2020, we can see the wisdom of that little ditty and take heed of it in our modern lives. Here are some ways our parents and grandparents put this advice to use in the hard times of the 1930s. We can do the same today.


Make it yourself. From clothes to knitting to bread to soap and cheese, if they couldn’t make it themselves, they often did without. There’s great satisfaction in taking a loaf of bread from the oven or making the last stitch on a knitting project—and an appreciation for the finished product that lasts longer than the thrill of purchasing something ready-made.


Grow it yourself. Anyone who had a few square feet of dirt planted seeds and grew their own garden. It’s what saved many families from both hunger and malnutrition. From microgreens to herbs to an all-out vegetable garden, even those of us in urban areas can grow something, whether on the kitchen counter or in the backyard.


Fix it yourself. In the thirties, clothes were patched or remade for younger siblings. Cars were held together with bailing wire and a prayer. Appliances in those days were made to be repaired and to last for decades. Shoes were resoled when they became worn, and many Depression-era folks cut new soles from rubber or cardboard, then stitched and glued their shoes together again. These days, it’s often cheaper to replace something than to fix it. But the cost to the environment, we know now, can be devastating. Buy the best quality you can afford, my dad always said, then keep it in good repair and fix it when it breaks. 


Use it up. In the dire days of the 1930s, household objects were repurposed out of pure necessity. Flour sacks were made into dresses and shirts. Worn-out clothing was made into rugs. Rubber tires were used for flower pots. Tin cans and jars were reused for food and storage. Before you throw something away, look at it again and see if it can be used for something new—saving the environment and your pocketbook.

 

Entertain yourself. Hollywood was big in the thirties, and going to the movies was a popular event, but plenty of people couldn’t afford the twenty-five cents to see a show. Board games became a thing, with classics like Sorry! and Monopoly coming out at the time. Playing cards was a common family activity. Picnics were a popular community activity, as were games like Red Rover and Blind Man’s Bluff, which needed nothing more than enthusiasm and an open field. Try turning off the TV and unplugging the WiFi for a night of old-fashioned fun.


Help your neighbors. As bad as people had it in the thirties, they knew a lot of folks had it worse. Whether it meant bringing extra food to the family next door or helping out on the neighboring farm during harvest, charity in hard times was the norm. It was the right thing to do, and everyone knew they could be the next family in need. In these times of isolation, reaching out to our neighbors can bring hope and healing for both the helper and the helped.



 



Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she's explored ruins, castles, and cathedrals on four continents and has met fascinating characters who sometimes find their way into her fiction. Stephanie is just as happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four adult children, two cats, and a dog. When she's not reading, researching, or writing, she's avoiding housework and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Spotlight: Falling for the Fifties: A Time Travel Historical Romance (The Back Inn Time Series Book 2) by

I'm excited to share with you this spotlight for the second book in the Back Inn Time series. I really enjoyed the first book and what I've read of this one so far. :) 

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Falling for the Fifties: A Time Travel Historical Romance (The Back Inn Time Series Book 2) 

What would you do if you finally found Mr. Right…in the wrong time?

Maddie Palmer is done with dating. Internet matchmaking landed her one dud after another. Tired, frustrated, and finished with love, Maddie stays the night at a quirky Victorian bed and breakfast on the eve of her grandparents’ sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. When she suddenly wakes up in 1956, she gets the unexpected chance to witness her grandparents’ fairy tale love unfold and finally learn the secret to finding “the one.” But what is she going to do when she meets her own Mr. Right—only to discover he’s Mr. Wrong Time?

Nathanial Hall is set on one mission. Pass his training exam and join the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base. When he mysteriously finds himself on base sixty-five years too early, there can only be one explanation. He has to save the crew destined to die in Hurricane Flossy. But when a beautiful singer snags his heart and derails his carefully planned life, he has to decide if staying in the past is worth risking his entire future.

♥ The Back Inn Time series short novels are fun, faith-filled stories of what it might be like to suddenly experience life in a different time. These clean historical romances are packed with humor and adventure. Perfect for fans of dual timeline or time slip stories and Christian historical romance, these books answer the question every historical fiction fan wonders—what would it be like if I went back to that time? If you enjoy the wholesomeness of Amish, Western, or frontier fiction and adore romantic comedies, then a visit to a seaside Victorian inn where you can “step back inn time and leave your troubles behind!” is for you.

Available in Audio, ebook, and paperback. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Review: Backlash by Rachel Dylan

About the book:
With a target on her back, she's determined to find answers.
But can she escape the deadly backlash?
CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel, and after one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.
At the same time, the CIA opens an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.
Layla and Hunter soon discover that a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team's identity to the cartel. She needs to clear her name with the Agency in order to protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter--the man who broke her heart--and hope they both come out of it alive.
For those who are content sensitive: this book contains non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault.
This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:
Backlash is the second book in Rachel Dylan's Capital Intrigue series and another thrilling suspense. I found the characters likeable and I liked how there were some unexpected twists. 

I'm not sure if it was just me and my reading mood at the time, but the storyline was a little difficult to completely follow at times. It might be because I wasn't really in the mood to read at the time and trying to get over a slump. It was still enjoyable…but I think some things went over my head. 

All in all, Backlash was a good read. I look forward to reading the next book when it releases. If you are a fan of romantic suspense, then I think you'll like this one, too.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Review: When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin


About the book:
Munich, 1938
Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession and to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country--or worse. If she does not report truthfully, she'll betray the oppressed and fail to wake up the folks back home.
Peter Lang is an American graduate student working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party--to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can't get off his mind.
As the world marches relentlessly toward war, Evelyn and Peter are on a collision course with destiny.

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:
It's been four years since I've read a Sarah Sundin novel, so I was excited to dive into When Twilight Breaks. I felt like this book was slightly different from her other stories, but it was still amazing. 

I loved the story and found it so intriguing to read this point in history from the setting of Germany. I thought the story was believable and written in a way that made me feel like I was really there. 

There were points in this book where I was on the edge of my seat in suspense. I didn't know what was going to happen and there was so much danger. 

All in all, When Twilight Breaks was a great read. I highly recommend it. Now I must make a point to read my backlist of Sundin novels. ;)


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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