This is Book 2 from the House of Oak series. The best part of a series is meeting the characters you already loved. Emry and James were the lead characters in Book 1, and Georgiana had a supporting role. Her starring moment came when Emry had to take her back through the portal to save her life.
In Book 2, Georgie takes the starring role. She’s cured, but she’s struggling to find her place in the 21st century. THEN the impossible happens . . . she receives a love letter from the past, and she wrote it! As a lover of mysteries, there’s only one thing she can do – time travel back to discover the love of her life, but there’s a twist . . . gooseberries!
Watch whenever they’re mentioned – they’re the key to the plot. In 2013 Georgie’s boyfriend belongs to GLIB – Gooseberry Lovers International Brotherhood. Back in 1813 they figured into the plot too. Sebastian Carew enters the story when he becomes the Earl of Stratton. There’s only one small problem – if he isn’t married by his birthday, he will forfeit 60,000 pounds, and the money will go to 3 gooseberry societies.
I’d never heard of gooseberries until I read this book and its back matter. If you’re curious what gooseberries look like, take a look under this paragraph. Gooseberry societies and competitions were a fad in the early 1800’s. If you were a gooseberry back then, you were a lax chaperone who wasn’t keeping an eye on your charge. Gooseberries are still popular in Britain, but now it means you’re the third wheel in a group.
Georgiana Knight--born in the nineteenth century, but now living in 2013--has certain standards when it comes to mysteries: they must involve blood curdling threats, late-night rendezvous and the terror of Imminent Danger. So far, her current mystery has been a terrible disappointment. No ghosts, no dastardly villains, not even an actual murder weapon. Just a suspicious symbol, a drawing of a bloody dagger, and an old love letter. Though the centuries-old love letter is written in her own handwriting, so that's something, right? And there is a time portal in her cellar. Should she risk giving up hot showers and return to the past to discover the mysterious stranger who inspired (will inspire?) her passionate letter?
In 1813, Sebastian Carew has his own mystery to solve. As a teenager, he fell madly in love with his childhood friend, Georgiana. Ten years later, he returns from fighting abroad as an eligible man of fortune who must marry. And soon. He is determined to fend off fortune-hunting women, find Georgiana, and win her affections. However, she has utterly vanished. Can he divine the truth of her disappearance and convince her to marry him before time runs out?
This was Nichole’s debut book from February of 2014. I found it in June, and I’ve been reading her work ever since. Intertwine is a time travel novel with Emry coming from 2012, and James from England, 200 years later. It’s a parallel story with the plot moving back and forth between the two characters. I love how she weaves them together.
Nichole was an award-winning photographer before she started writing. I think it gave her an edge in picturing her characters and their story. She also uses Pinterest to store photos and notes to use later. I’d never heard of that before.
I finished Nichole’s newest book before I started her first one again. I never noticed her growth as a writer until now. I loved her stories before, but her writing feels richer and deeper. I think it comes from the way she shows her characters’ emotions through their actions. She also uses historical details like furniture and clothing to help you picture the setting.
Outlander meets Bridgerton in a love story for the ages!
Time is not a river. It is a vast cosmic sea. Where each life exists as rippling circles on its surface, past and future being eternally present. And occasionally, one expanding ring intertwines with that of another, weaving the lives of two people together . . .
In 2012, Emme Wilde can’t find the right guy. She wants to feel that swept-off-your-feet dizziness of true love. But so far, her dating life has come up short. Star Trek geek? Nice but too serious. Hippy artist? Cute but too vulnerable. Instead, Emme obsesses over the portrait of an unknown man in an old locket. Granted, a seriously dreamy guy with delicious, wind-swept hair she just itches to run her fingers through. But still. Dead men may be great listeners, but they are not exactly boyfriend material. Emme travels to England, determined to uncover his history and conquer the strong connection she feels.
In 1812, James Knight has given up finding the right woman. All he wants is someone to share his love of adventure. Instead, his life has become a Shakespearean drama. His brother languishes in a tragic star-crossed romance. His beloved sister clings to life, slowly dying of consumption. But then he finds a beautiful mystery woman, dripping wet and half-dead, beneath a tree on his estate. Now if he can uncover her history, perhaps adventure—and romance—will find him at last.
I love a good series, and Nichole Van always delivers. This is book 3 in the Penn-Leith series so I’d already met the main character, Ethan Penn-Leith. My only question, who would become his leading lady, and Lady Allegra Gilbert did not disappoint.
This was my first-time reading book 3. I met Allegra on an Italian stagecoach, and she’s not a meek miss. She’s an undercover member of the La Giovine Italia. I know, I’d never heard of it either, but it was a real political group in the 19th century. Their goal – to reunite Italy. Allegra is half Italian, but she’s also the daughter of an English duke. How they meet and have that first kiss – you’ll have to read for yourself, but the plot kept me guessing about what they’d do next.
The second time through I noticed how rich the writing is. There’s a balance between dialogue and action. There’s also a depth in how Nichole reveals emotions, in actions. Allegra might look away or clear her throat in embarrassment. There’s historical detail in the clothes they wore, the foods they ate, the furniture they used. They help you imagine the story, and those riches turned book 3 into a mentor text for me and my middle grade novel. The stories are different, but they both have historical settings that are key to creating a good read.
Ethan Penn-Leith is the most renowned poet of his day—his likeness so widely recognized, he is regularly accosted by adoring admirers. Everyone wants something from him—his time, words, charm, torn bits of his kilt . . . Everyone, that is, but Lady Allegra Gilbert.
Twin sister to the authoritarian Duke of Kendall, Lady Allegra fights for freedom from her brother’s iron-gripped control. She has a plan for her future, after all, one that does not involve her ducal twin. Ethan Penn-Leith with his knee-melting smiles and boyish charm is merely a pretty distraction along the path to independence.
The problem? Ethan and Lady Allegra once shared a life-altering kiss on a rugged mountain road in Italy when she was disguised as someone else entirely. Ever the poet, Ethan turned their romantic kiss into a scandalous, best-selling poem. Now, all of London is clamoring to know the identity of the poet’s unnamed lady.
If she wishes her freedom, Lady Allegra needs to keep her secrets, well . . . secret. Ethan wants nothing more than to uncover all of Allegra’s truths.
In between outrunning legions of Ethan’s admirers, becoming stranded in a seaside village, and journeying by ducal decree to rural Scotland, Ethan and Allegra struggle to decide what they each truly want. Or perhaps, in the end, Fate will turn on one kiss alone?
I picked this book because a writing mentor suggested it, and I couldn’t resist the title. It just called me to read it again.
It’s the story of how Soloman and the Queen of Sheba met. It’s steeped in biblical research, but we don’t know everything about that meeting. Liz found a way to connect some of those dots. For example, have you ever wondered how long Sheba stayed? At least two months, because that’s how long a camel must rest before making the big trip home again.
These three chapter titles spoke to me, so I decided to share them with you.
1. Be open to whatever God has prepared for you.
I do this in my writing life. I started because I met a bat on a mop in Germany. Now I’m writing about the founding fathers because a post on Facebook called me to write about them.
2. Praise God in all things and in every season.
I pray each night before I go to sleep. I thank God for my blessings. When something goes wrong, I ask for his help to find the silver lining.
3. Receive graciously, to honor God and the giver.
I never thought of receiving this way. When you’re given a gift, it’s from a person, and it’s also from God. By giving we show God’s love and our own. It’s the same for receiving. We accept his love, and the giver’s too.
When it comes to famous queens of the Bible, we know the good one, Queen Esther, and the bad one, Queen Jezebel. Now meet the wise one, the queen of Sheba, who traveled to Jerusalem to test the mind and heart of a king.
Her quest for wisdom will surprise you, challenge you, inspire you, change you. This wealthy royal from antiquity will show you how to live boldly, seek after truth, ask the right questions, encourage others, receive graciously, and honor the Lord above all.
Shedding new light on this ancient biblical role model, Liz Curtis Higgs unveils timeless wisdom for all who aspire to please the king of Kings.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!