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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

I Can't Wait for... Summer in the Spotlight (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday)


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.

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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About the book:
A hurricane may have destroyed her livelihood on Prince Edward Island, but she's determined to save her community

Kelsey Ahern has performed at the Victoria Playhouse on Prince Edward Island every summer since she was seven. But when a hurricane destroys the building, it's not just her memories that are in jeopardy. Her future as a teacher and drama coach are too. She teams up with Levi Ross, the facilities director at the high school, to produce a benefit show to raise money to rebuild the theater. He has a reputation for being able to fix anything, and Kelsey is sure there's more to the quiet man than meets the eye.

For his part, Levi has admired Kelsey for years, but he can't seem to find the words to tell her. When a popular weatherman arrives in town to cover the aftermath of the hurricane and takes an interest in Kelsey and her show, Levi realizes that the time has come to speak up--or lose the heart of the woman he longs for.

Join New York Times bestselling author Liz Johnson for a season of rebuilding, restoration, and romance with this final book in the Prince Edward Island Shores series.

Pages: 368
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: August 8, 2023
ISBN-10: 0800737393 
Find the book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HzsA62 (aff link)

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

I Can't Wait for... The Words We Lost (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday)


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.

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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About the book:

Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.

As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony--two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she's also desperate to find the closure she's convinced will come with Cecelia's missing final manuscript.

After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell--the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters--offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.

Honoring Cecelia's last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?

Pages: 384
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: April 11, 2023
ISBN-10:  0764241184
Find the book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wUWflf (aff link)

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

I Can't Wait for... The Tapestry of Grace (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday)


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.

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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About the book:
When a group of Kansas women start a Frauenverein, a benevolent society devoted to aiding widows and orphans, life changes for more than just the hurting people they seek to help in this heartwarming romance inspired by historical events—from the bestselling author of Freedom’s Song.

With classes paused for the planting season, Alexandertol’s schoolteacher Augusta Dyck is glad for some meaningful work to occupy her time. She even knows exactly who their town’s benevolence society should help first: quiet, reserved widower Konrad Rempel and his young twin sons.

Konrad Rempel, however, is adamant that he doesn’t want help. His boys are mischievous but good-hearted. And though Konrad may be struggling, he doesn’t want anyone else sticking their nose in and telling him what his sons need. Or what he needs.

For her part, the charity’s founder Martina Krahn is relieved to have a reason to spend time outside her unhappy home. It even occurs to her that she may, through her work, encounter a boy in need of a family and so find a son for her husband since they have no children of their own.

Augusta, Konrad, and Martina each have deep needs and desires, and each imagines how they should be met: by reaching out or by being left alone. But God, indeed, knows best. Will the competing agendas of Alexandertol’s residents prevent them from receiving God’s help? Or will the members of this small Mennonite community find the answers to their prayers in the very last place they expect—in one another?

Pages: 320
Publisher: WaterBrook
Release Date: April 18, 2023
ISBN-10:  0593194381
Find the book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RvCtX0 (aff link)

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

I Can't Wait for... A Novel Proposal (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday)


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.

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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About the book:
From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a sweet and sizzling story of a romance writer surprised by her own happily ever after.

When novelist Sadie Goodwin is forced to stop writing westerns and charged with penning a contemporary romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: She’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie begins devouring romance novels. Knowing she must devote herself to this confounding genre, she accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer. Where better to witness love in bloom than on the beautiful North Carolina shore?

However, once ensconced in the charming ocean-front home with her sweet maltipoo Rio, she finds many ways to procrastinate. First there’s the beach, right outside her backdoor, with all its interesting visitors (research). Then there’s the free library she decides to build and set up by the back deck (She has to do something with all those romance novels). To say nothing of Sam Ford, the grumpy neighbor on the other side of the duplex . . . who she can’t seem to stop annoying.

A social butterfly by nature, Sadie soon gets to know all the beach regulars—sunbathers, walkers, and surfers alike. The free books draw a crowd right up to the house for nice little book chats, which further irritates her reclusive neighbor, to break up her “writing.” But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie opens a recently-placed novel to find a secret compartment—and tucked inside is a beautiful engagement ring. To whom does the ring belong? Sadie is convinced she needs to find the owner and save the man’s proposal from certain doom.

She draws a reluctant Sam into the project, and slowly their connection begins to develop. Are these weird fluttery feelings the first stirrings of love? Has Sadie managed to stumble upon the very subject about which she must write—and wouldn’t Sam make the perfect alpha hero?

Will Sadie find the ring’s rightful owner? And will she manage to pen a career-saving romance novel by summer’s end?

Pages: 352
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  March 21, 2023
ISBN-10: 0840716591 
Find the book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Rtid8B (aff link)

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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Review: The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin



About the book:
Copenhagen, 1940

When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research--her life's dream--and makes the dangerous decision to print resistance newspapers.

As Else hears rumors of the movement's legendary Havmand--the merman--she also becomes intrigued by the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse. Henrik makes every effort to conceal his noble upbringing, but he is torn between the fa├žade he must maintain and the woman he is beginning to fall in love with.

When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. 

My rating:
4.5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

The Sound of Light was a great WWII historical novel. I had a difficult time getting into the book (restarted it a couple times) and finally listened to the audio book (along with a combination of reading/listening), which helped me quite a bit. I think it was the Danish words that made it difficult to get into initially. 

However, once I got partway into the book, I was hooked! I loved the characters and how brave they were. I felt for them and the danger they were facing. The romance was really good and I loved how it slowly progressed. 

All in all, after a bumpy start, I ended up loving The Sound of Light and recommend it to fans of the genre. The teaser for Sundin's next book has me REALLY intrigued and I cannot wait to read it.

*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

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.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Q and A with Stephanie Landsem Author of Code Name Edelweiss


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.

Q and A with Stephanie Landsem Author of Code Name Edelweiss

Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction for women, about women. She’s traveled the world in real life and traveled through time in her research and imagination. As she’s learned about women of the past, she’s come to realize that these long-ago women were very much like us. They loved, dreamed, and made mistakes. They struggled, failed, and triumphed. She writes to honor their lives and to bring today’s women hope and encouragement.

Stephanie makes her home in Minnesota with her husband, two cats and a dog, and frequent visits from her four adult children. Along with reading, writing, and research, she dreams about her next travel adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.

Find on Amazon (aff link)

1. Code Name Edelweiss is based on true events—what led you to explore Hitler’s secret efforts to influence Hollywood?

I stumbled upon the story of Leon Lewis and his spy network when I was researching my last novel, In a Far-Off Land. As I read about Hitlerites infiltrating Hollywood and Nazis taking over German American groups in Los Angeles, I was incredulous. Why hadn’t I heard of this before? How could something like this happen in America? I knew I had to find out more and write about this unknown moment in history.

2. Why was Hollywood a target for Hitler? What do we know about his plans during the 1930s?

Adolf Hitler was a master at propaganda. He knew Hollywood films were the best way to reach not only the American people, but people throughout the world. If he could control them, he could sway public opinion toward his beliefs in a way that nothing else could. His plan was to infiltrate the Hollywood studio system with German Americans and Nazis—without Leon Lewis and his spies, he may have succeeded.

3. How did you go about researching this time and place in history?

Much of what we know about Leon Lewis and his spy operation is housed in the University of Southern California archives, so there were plenty of primary sources that were both a treasure of information and one of inspiration. I also credit an excellent book by Steven Ross, Hitler in Los Angeles, with telling this chilling and little-known story and as a treasure trove of details about the people involved.

4. What was Hollywood like during the Great Depression?

Hollywood was very much a land of the haves and the have-nots during the 1930s. While the majority of the population of Los Angeles and the rest of the country were struggling with rampant unemployment, hunger, and homelessness, the film executives and film stars of the era were flush with the kind of wealth that led to decadent lifestyles. While many of the have-nots loved to watch the films and dream of stardom, plenty of others were outraged and bitter at the social divide.

5. How did the German government control Hollywood filmmaking in the 1930s?

The German vice-consul to Los Angeles, Georg Gyssling, exerted immense control over the content of films produced by all the major Hollywood studios. He was referred to as “Hitler’s Hollywood Consul” and his task was clearly defined: to ensure that no films portrayed Jews or Jewish life in a positive way and that no films were critical of the German people or the Nazi government.

6. Tell us a little about your main character, Liesl. What challenges is she facing as the story opens?

Liesl is a single mother who is responsible for her aging mother and younger brother in the dark years of the Great Depression. As the story opens, she loses her job as a stenographer at MGM studios and is desperate to find a way to pay the rent and buy food for her family. She’s offered a job by Leon Lewis, a Jewish lawyer who claims Adolf Hitler’s Nazis are infiltrating the German American community. She agrees to work for Lewis although she doesn’t believe his preposterous notion. What she finds is shocking and far more dangerous than either she or Lewis expected.

7. Are any of the novel’s characters based on real people? How did you go about representing them faithfully and creatively?

Code Name Edelweiss is filled with real-life heroes and villains. Leon Lewis and his spies were real men and women who took a stand against evil and risked their lives to stop the spread of Naziism in America. The Nazis of the Friends of New Germany—Hermann Schwinn, his wife, Thekla, and the bookstore owner Paul Themlitz—were all-too real and posed a legitimate threat to the Jewish population of Los Angeles. The primary documents collected by Leon Lewis and preserved in the archives were a great help in both researching these real people and inspiring a creative approach to the story.

8. How was writing a spy story different from your previous work? Was it more challenging?

I read widely and that includes spy novels, so I was thrilled to try my hand at writing one. I found it was far more complicated and challenging than my previous books, but also a lot of fun! I especially enjoyed writing in a way that let the reader in on some secrets that neither Liesl nor Agent Thirteen knew. To see the characters figure out what the reader already knows is a satisfying part of reading this genre.

9. What did you learn from writing this fascinating story?

Over and over again, I was surprised by what Leon Lewis and his spies faced as they battled against anti-Semitism and the Nazi regime. The chilling accounts of plots against Jewish leaders and film stars, the propaganda spread by the Friends of New Germany, and the armed paramilitary groups were real and yet hard to believe. That such a vicious movement like Naziism almost gained ground in America—but for one man and his intrepid spies—is still hard for me to believe.

10. What is your hope for readers of Code Name Edelweiss?

Leon Lewis’s decades-long fight against the Nazi threat to Los Angeles is well-documented and yet virtually unknown. I am eager to show the world the heroes and heroines who saved Los Angeles—and America—from Hitler and his Nazi regime.

Code Name Edelweiss
by Stephanie Landsem

Hardcover $26.99
978-1-4964-6066-0

Softcover $15.99
978-1-4964-6067-7

March 2023
Tyndale.com


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