Book Review: A Hope Remembered by Stacy Henrie #Giveaway

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You can purchase this book from Amazon A Hope Remembered (Of Love and War)

Synopsis

AS THE WAR ENDS, LOVE BEGINS

Nora Lewis just wants an escape after losing her fiance in the Great War. When she inherits property in England, she boldly packs up and leaves America for a fresh start. But, if not for her dashing new neighbor, Colin Ashby, she’d be lost. Even as their friendship deepens, Nora knows a British aristocrat would never be free to love an American orphan, no matter how much the war has changed the world …

After his brother’s death in the war and his own experiences as a pilot at the front, Colin returns home broken, only to discover his family’s estate is also in ruin. The pressure is now on him to save his home and the Ashbys’ place in society with a well-bred match to a wealthy heiress. Too bad he finds more of a kindred spirit in Nora, the beautiful American next door. She, too, has faced the rigors of war and survived. Now the ex-soldier will have one more battle to fight–this time for love

Excerpt

With a glare at both of them, Jack smashed his cap on his head and stalked from the room. He proceeded to slam the door behind him, but it hit the doorframe and bounced open instead.

Nora pushed out a sigh. “You didn’t have to be rude. Jack’s been very helpful to me this past week.” Maybe a bit too much. But she didn’t voice that thought. Colin needed no further ammunition against Jack.

“I’m sure he has,” Colin muttered, his expression as dark as his eyes.

Nora pinned him with a piercing look.

“You’re right.” He finished buttoning his cuffs and slipped on his vest. “That was ungentlemanly of me.”

She ignored his reference to her joke at their first meeting as she put away the corn starch and closed the cupboard. It was easier to keep her heart firmly locked if she held onto her disapproval of Colin’s behavior. Plus it would also stop her from wondering what he’d been about to say before Jack’s arrival.

“How may I redeem myself?” he asked as he pulled on his jacket. The amusement tugging at his mouth contradicted his contrite tone.

Nora folded her arms, contemplating a suitable penance. “I think your punishment needs to be two-fold.”

“Very well.” He nodded. “What is your sentence?”

“First, you must join me for choir rehearsal at the church tomorrow morning.”

The mirth drained from his face. “Nora.” His voice held a note of warning. “That is entirely—”

“Second, you and Perseus can give me a tour around the lake. I’ve already been here a week and haven’t even seen all of it.”

Colin scowled. “A walk around the lake would be acceptable. But the choir rehearsal . . .”

“Please, Colin.” She hazarded a step toward him, hoping he’d relent. “I sang with them last Sunday and they need more male voices.”

She had another reason for wanting him there. Everyone had been kind at rehearsal and at church the following day, but Nora still felt uncomfortable with the continued references to her likeness to Eleanor. Apparently their similarities also included their singing voices. With Colin at the rehearsals, she wouldn’t feel as awkward. She was beginning to think he was the only person in Larksbeck who hadn’t known Eleanor.

Colin’s brow knit in obvious annoyance, while Nora held her breath. Would he accept her proposal? Finally resignation settled over his countenance. “I’ll go, but only once.” He held up a single finger. “Once,” he repeated. “I make no promises after that.”

Grateful, she breached the remaining space between them and put her hand on his sleeve. “I agree to those terms.” She couldn’t hide her smile as she added, “Be careful, though, we might make a regular choir member out of you yet.”

Instead of the light laugh she expected, Colin solemnly watched her. Though he didn’t touch her, she felt as powerless to release his sleeve as if he’d detained her hand. She couldn’t step away—his nearness drew her in like the promising warmth of a fire after being out in a storm.

“You know,” he murmured, his voice low, “you are rather charming when you jest like that.”

Nora’s pulse stuttered to a stop, then sped up again like a train gaining speed. She tried to remember why she’d been angry with him, tried to remember why she couldn’t allow anything more than friendship to blossom between them. But she couldn’t concentrate on any one thought, except for the growing desire to touch the hint of dark bristles covering his jaw.

Colin studied her lips as Jack had done last week, but this moment couldn’t be more different. A part of her, one growing more insistent by the second, actually wanted Colin to kiss her. How long had it been since she’d last felt the press of masculine lips against hers?

Not since before Tom left.

The memory crashed over her with all the effect of an ocean wave. She felt suddenly ill and cold. Releasing Colin’s sleeve, she stepped back, crossing her arms over her chest for warmth.

Forgive me, Tom.

She’d done nothing wrong, but even entertaining the idea of Colin kissing her felt like a betrayal. Her heart could never belong to anyone else. And yet, in this moment, the past felt more like a burden than a boon.

“I’ll . . . uh . . . just get my sweater, then we can go on that walk.” Nora went to pull the garment off its usual peg. Her hands shook slightly as she slipped the sweater on over her blouse. “Ready?”

A flicker of emotion gleamed in Colin’s dark eyes. Was it disappointment? Frustration? Would he forgive her abruptness or understand the source of her pain? As quickly as it had come, though, the sentiment faded and Colin shot her a carefree grin. “After you, fair lady.”

My Review

I just loved this story, such a beautiful written story about Nora and Colin and how they came together.

This is the 3rd book in the series and the first book in this series that I am reading.

This book is written after the Great War, and Nora inherits some property in England. She decides to sell her farm and move to England from Iowa.
Their story has sadness and happiness, but even better there is hope and with hope, Nora and Colin in the each personal selves had a lot to over come and with that hope they did.

Honestly this book just has everything, and also some of the twist were different. This wasn’t just the same old historic romance, this was so interesting to read that I stayed up all night to finish this book and I cant wait to read the rest in the series. I give this book 5 stars.

I did receive this book from Netgalley for an honest opinion.

About the Author

Stacy+Henrie

Stacy Henrie has always had an avid appetite for history, fiction and chocolate. She earned her B.A. in public relations and worked in communications before turning her attentions to raising a family and writing inspirational historical romances. Wife of an entrepreneur husband and a stay-at-home mom to three, Stacy loves the chance to live out history through her fictional characters, while enjoying the modern conveniences of life in the 21st century. In addition to author, she is a reader, a road trip enthusiast and a novice interior decorator. Her first novel, Lady Outlaw, released from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical in 2012.

You can purchase her books on any of these sites

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Release Day Blitz: Revolutionary Hearts by Pema Donyo #Giveaway

Revolutionary Hearts Release Day

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RevolutionaryHearts_CoverBook Title: Revolutionary Hearts (Novella)
Author: Pema Donyo
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March30, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Parineeta Singh has always known her purpose in life: to help exact revenge on the invading British and free India. She becomes a maid for General Carton in order to supply information to her brother’s Indian revolutionary group. But when her employer is exposed as an American spy, she agrees to help him escape the British Raj.

She did not agree to lose her heart.

To complete his mission, Carton – aka undercover operative Warren Khan – must hide both his true objective and his part-Indian heritage. But once he meets the captivating Parineeta, who holds the key to both his freedom and capturing her brother, a suspected anarchist, he finds the subterfuge more difficult than anticipated.

Navigating between the lavish social circles of the British elite and the dense jungles of 1920s India on the brink of the country’s revolution, the two must find a way to protect both their lives and their love.

excerpt

“How do you know so much about the jungle, anyway?” He leaned against one side of the cave, and she watched his face slip into the shadows. “I thought your entire family worked for the previous general who lived in that house before me. Surely he didn’t send you out for tasks in the trees.”

The unbidden memories sent a fresh wave of pain straight to her heart. “When I was younger, I worked as a maid in the house. But the previous general was… He would instruct me to scrub the floors from dawn until sundown, when I would finally receive a break to eat a meal. All his servants were treated in such a manner.”

“Why?”

“I do not believe he saw us as people. We could be worked like dogs. I would often escape into the jungle, and eventually I no longer worked in the house at all.”

“I see.” Warren reached out to envelope both of her hands into his smooth ones. She flinched. Yet as her skin grew accustomed to the touch, she relaxed her hands in his. It alarmed her how much more at ease she was becoming around him. It was almost as if he provided a source of comfort, something she couldn’t quite name and didn’t care to.

“I do not understand why anyone would be cruel to you, though.”

He rubbed his thumb in a circular motion over her hand. Shockwaves from his touch jolted up her arm.

Danger. She wrenched one of her hands from his hold and pivoted on her heel. But his right hand still gripped hers with firm pressure. Her torso twisted as she kept her face turned from his. “Then you do not know enough of the world.”

“I think I do.” His voice was low and husky. A chill ran up Parineeta’s spine and unfamiliar heat pooled in the pit of her stomach. “I’ve seen and known many women during my life. No agent’s or colonel’s daughter has ever been more courageous or intelligent than you.”

Parineeta spun her head around. She wanted—no, she needed—to believe this man. No one had ever said the honeyed words that left his mouth to her before. They were so sweet that she could almost taste her grandmother’s syrup. He squeezed her hand and brought her body ever so closer to his. His musky scent lingered in the air, and she would have sworn he could hear her heartbeat.

“You called me intelligent in the past. Am I?” She lifted her chin, reclaiming her pride and throwing off whatever feeling this man gave her. She would not buckle to her knees before him. “I am here to learn information from you and nothing more, yet you seem to draw me into dangerous situations.”

Warren lifted his thumb to graze the top of her cheekbone. She struggled to keep her breathing under control as she met his gaze. The brown hair she had grown accustomed to seeing so coiffed and slicked back had fallen from its former grace and hung loose over his forehead, the ends brushing the top of his eyes.

When he spoke, he sounded distant, as if in a trance. His eyes remained fixed on hers. “I wish every woman was like you.”

She felt her cheeks flush. No man had ever spoken to her with such boldness before. A heady rush swept through her body as he inched closer to her, removing the gap between them as he inclined his body toward hers. His stubble scratched the side of her cheek, and his scent bombarded her senses, removing all rational thought. It was only her and him, in this moment, free and alive and closer and closer….

His lips brushed against hers, softly at first, then more insistent. She clutched the collar of his kameez. Could he hear her heart pounding? His right hand threaded through her hair, combing through her waves and falling along the sides of her sari. His other hand pressed into the small of her back, molding her body against his.

Her body naturally reacted in the same way—hungry and yearning against his lips. She put everything she had into the kiss, all her years of rejection and feeling unwanted and being unable to marry due to her skin. Too dark for the British to view her as an equal, too light for the men in her village to forget who her father was. She’d never kissed a man before. And this one made her feel like a flame burning up from the tips of her toes to the top of her head.

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Meet the Author

PemaDonyo

Pema Donyo is the author of historical romance and young adult fiction. She is also a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. She currently lives in sunny Southern California, where any temperature less than 70 degrees is freezing and flip-flops never go out of season. As a sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she’s still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and… college. Learn more about Pema on her website at https://pemadonyo.wordpress.com or you can find her on Twitter (@PemaDonyo).

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Blog Tour: Pride by Rosie Somers and Giveaway

Pride2Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.

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Praise for the Book:

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

 

Excerpt
Copyright © Rosie Somers

Gabby

 

The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

 

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Author Rosie Somers

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Blog Tour: Dreamer by Phillip L. Davidson

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dreamer_front (1) Book Title: Dreamer
Author: Phillip L. Davidson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

The U. S. government initiates a secret assassination operation called Phoenix. An elite team of assassins carried out this operation. The mission failed. The team, headed by Captain David Elliott is captured and the horrors and long-term effects of being a P.O.W. are vividly detailed. In the meantime Captain David Elliott’s wife, Sunny is kidnapped by the Argentine Police. She is the love of his life. David and his team go on an international mission to rescue her. This is an action packed book that will have you on the edge of your seat.

excerpt

From Darkness to Light – A Soldier’s Story

Phil Davidson

When I landed in Saigon in 1972 I thought knew about the dangers that were ahead. After all, I knew it was a desperate place. Fighting and dying had been going on long before I arrived there. As an Infantry officer, a Captain, I had been well trained. I could set ambushes, call in air strikes and shoot my way out of a gun-fight with the best of them. I had also hardened myself against my subordinates, and intellectualized that taking casualties was for the most part unavoidable. I also accepted that I might be killed or wounded, though I had made my mind up that I would never be captured. That was what my hand gun was for. But what I had not foreseen nor planned for was the ‘darkness.’

I had just snuck into my hideout from a night ambush mission when I received a secure radio call from my Six from his lair near the Mekong to be ready to be extracted in two hours. Two hours. As the chopper lifted off leaving my little team waiving to me I expected to be back after receiving another one of ‘those’ missions. Instead I was put on a plane and sent home. Arriving in America a couple of days later I was a man from space. Seventy-two hours earlier I had been in a fire -fight. Now I was picking ghostly insects from my meal at home. Two weeks later I was a ski instructor for the Northern Warfare School in Alaska.

It was there during those cold clear nights that I began experiencing the ‘dreams.’ They came at night, like an ambush team, while I was weak and vulnerable, and while my ego was resting. Images of the jungle, the people I knew, and the things I had done. And after awhile, I began to have waking dreams. Yes, the ‘Thousand Yard Stare.’ While you were driving, while you were talking, while you were eating, while… I fought the dreams with things I don’t want to write about. I left the Army. But the dreams never left.

They accompanied me while I was driving in my patrol car after I had become a police officer. They took the place of script as I studied my law books. When I would walk down the street a car backfiring or some loud noise would invoke an embarrassing response from me wherever I was and with whomever I was with at the time. I trusted no one and everyone and everything was out to get me. I even joined the National Guard to be able to act out my subconscious desires. I was at a point that I was at the end of myself. I couldn’t form personal relationships and felt alienated from everyone and the society I was in. The darkness had taken me. I was alone and suicidal. I had no family left to fall back on and the institutions I had made myself apart of were not set up for understanding the human condition of their employees.

As a small boy I had been a member of a church, a small group that meet in the basement of a larger house. One of the deacons was leaving, a plain man with a friendly smile and solid voice, he gave the children, there were three of us, Bibles as parting gifts. That was when I was twelve. I still had the Bible. My grandmother had kept it for me and when I left home after joining the police force she handed it to me. She didn’t say anything but she knew. One night for some reason, to this day I cannot tell you why, I thumbed through it. My eye was caught by the story of David. I read it. And in my mind his story was similar to mine. Over the days I formed a bond with David. If God loved a man like David, a man that he said was of his own heart, then there was a chance for me. After awhile, when the darkness came, David drew his sword of light and cut it away. David had put himself to the task of being God’s servant. He didn’t run from evil, he faced it. I decided to find out what the darkness was. I read everything I could about what I was experiencing. And I found out it had a name-delayed stress syndrome.

I took a real hard look at myself in the light of day and I realized that I had been saved from death and disaster so many times by God. If God wanted me to survive then my life was worth something. The darkness would not win the battle for my soul. Each time I felt myself losing control I remembered that I was not alone. Like David, I could use the armor of God to defeat what threatened me. That is a point of healing for anyone suffering from PTSD. Your life has value to God and he will help you to fight your darkness. God is a warrior and he knows how to win battles. He will help you to cope.

Once I focused my life away from my problems I began to see that many of my fellow police officers were showing symptoms of the darkness. I was now an instructor at the Police Academy and had recently received Master’s Degree in clinical psychology. I began teaching officers how to cope the darkness, now labeled, post traumatic stress disorder. Thus began my journey of teaching others to defeat this malady. In 1982 I was appointed to President Reagan’s Vietnam Veterans advisory committee, where I centered on PTSD. In the years to come I knew that I wanted to write about PTSD and what it had done to so many soldiers. But I also wanted to write about what had happened to me not my experiences but my being saved from the darkness by what I know was God’s grace. Some would call it redemption.

But how would I do this? I wrote Dreamer. Dreamer is novel about redemption, but not redemption in the classical sense that has been written about many times. How would God redeem warriors? Warriors who had been sentenced to live in the darkness for questionable conduct. God would come to them as a warrior. I knew that this concept might be foreign and perhaps offensive to many religious readers. But I felt it was a story that I had to tell.

My central character is a man named David. I patterned him from the Bible’s David. And like King David, Dreamer’s David was a failed human being. David and his team were called upon to carry out Phoenix missions in Vietnam and all had the left the service in disgrace. Years later God comes to them and brings them together to accomplish an impossible task that will redeem them and let them stand in the light of men once more.

I used as a background for the novel’s action, the Falklands War. I’m not sure if there has been any fiction written about the Falklands War. Dreamer is gritty. There is rough language, scenes of violence, but also tales of bravery and sacrifice. I wanted to take the Christian and other religious readers to a real world, a world where evil lives and to show how it can be defeated. Christ never flinched from entering places of evil men and danger. I hoped the Christian reader would find Dreamer a little dangerous but worth saving because Dreamer’s David’s dreams were not a product of PTSD but rather messages from God. Those messages brought him from darkness to light. God’s power will lead you into the light.

_______________

Phil Davidson is a practicing attorney in Nashville, TN and author of the book Dreamer. This is a novel about redemption and the power of God to restore the fallen. It is available on Amazon.com. This book has been written to inspire everyone and especially those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that there is a place for recovery in the arms of God.

Interview

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?

Yes, I had to do quite a lot – Phoenix, the CIA ‘s assassination program in Vietnam that led to Tet 658, The Argentine Secret Service that fought ‘the Dirty War’ and the Falklands War.

This book is very realistic when it comes to war and military actions. It has content for mature audiences because of its gritty nature. Life is that way, its raw, its real and it’s not all rose-colored glasses. Dreamer is an excellent book that shows the struggles that those in the military have to deal with, as well as life with challenges.

What inspired you to write Dreamer?

My belief is that God can and does intervene in our lives. I wanted to write about how he would do that with soldiers.

I wanted to tell a story about how God would offer redemption to warriors. I chose to portray God as a warrior. I know this thought is foreign to most religious readers but shouldn’t be. I took the lead character from the Bible character David, who like the characters in Dreamer was flawed but loved by God.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Dreamer is a book about failed warriors, who lost their way as soldiers and human beings, in the horror that was Vietnam. (That war is so far in people’s rear view mirror, that we have forgotten how really bad it was.) These men made up a SOG (Special Operations Group) team whose mission was to carry out the CIA’s Phoenix Program (the systematic assassination of suspected Viet Cong, (which was so successful it lead to Tet 68). The lead character, David, was the team leader. One of the team members betrayed the team and David is required to execute him, but he is stopped from carrying out the execution by an unseen but powerful force.

His failure to do his duty lead to a horrific chain of events that ends with the team being captured, and tortured. At the moment that death is at hand, the team makes a pact – a covenant with God, that if he saves them they would aid each other no matter what or when for the rest of their lives. Afterwards, each man lives in the “darkness”. Years later God comes to them and give them the chance to redeem themselves and stand in the “light of men” once again. But the path he chooses paralleled with death and destruction. Dreamer is about redemption. God as a warrior gives grace and the chance for redemption to other warriors.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?

My first reviewer said there was too much sex in the book. She seemed to think I was pre-occupied with the sexual relationships of the characters. I took her comments to heart and toned it down in a rewrite. The biggest compliment was that one reader said he was inspired.

Meet the Author

Philip Davidson is a former Vietnam veteran. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and Vietnamese Jump Wings. He was also a Kit Carson Scout. He was the author of the first SWAT Tactical Training Manual that has been used to train police across the country and served on President Reagan’s Veteran’s Affairs Council. His novel Dreamer is a military thriller and historical fiction about various wars and touches on the controversial subject of PTSD. Davidson is currently a Civil Rights Attorney residing in Nashville, TN. Contact Phil Davidson at www.phildavidsonbooks.com.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Book Review and Giveaway The Rules in Rome, By A.L Sowards

Rules of Rome

The Rules in Rome

With Hitler’s forces firmly entrenched in Europe, countless heroes seek to end the madman’s reign. Bastien Ley is one of the best. Working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services, he’s been tasked with sabotaging German convoys. When his team kills an officer headed for Rome, the man’s similarity to Bastien is undeniable, and seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the war, Bastien makes a bold decision: he will assume the dead officer’s identity. He becomes Dietrich, an Iron Cross–wearing German officer—an ideal position from which to infiltrate the Nazi ranks in Rome. To help with his stressful assignment, his superiors send him a reinforcement in the form of the lovely Gracie Begni, an intelligent and eager radio operator with absolutely no undercover experience.

With a gulf of resentment between them, these two agents must find a way to portray a couple in love. Soon their reluctant alliance becomes much more as Bastien and Gracie find themselves getting lost in their feelings for each other. But as they engage in battle against the deadliest foe the world has ever known, the pair quickly realizes their love may be doomed. As the Rome Gestapo threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, will Bastien and Gracie survive their charade?

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Praise for The Rules in Rome

Readers who hunger for a great espionage thriller with an extra helping of romance will devour The Rules in Rome. A.L. Sowards is at the top of her craft with this terrific WWII suspense novel. It is definitely a book not to be missed!

Gregg Luke, author of Bloodborne and Deadly Undertakings

 

The Rules in Rome has it all. Romance, adventure, and epic themes illustrating the unconquerable human spirit. From the moment Gracie met Bastien, I knew I would love this book. He’s the perfect hero, Gracie is his match. I fell in love with these characters over and over again. Thank you, Sowards, for another fabulous read!

Stephanie Fowers, author of the Twisted Tales Trilogy and Jane and Austen

 

Excerpt

“Everything about you screams wholesome religious American. Have you even been kissed before?”

Gracie ran her left thumb along the inside of her ring finger. There wasn’t a ring there, not anymore. “Yes, I’ve been kissed before, Captain Ley. But I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”

Ley stood and walked over to her, holding a hand out. She took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. “Let me guess. Something like this?” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers for a few brief moments.

When he pulled away, she could still feel the imprint of his mouth. Surprised but remembering his question, she nodded. Ley’s kiss had been a lot like Michael’s: soft, sweet, and affectionate.

“In Italy, if you’re pretending to be my girlfriend, I’ll be kissing you often but not like that. Like this.”

He slipped one hand to the back of her neck, the other to her waist, and pulled her close for another kiss. She was startled at first but soon realized she didn’t want to resist. His lips were insistent and inviting, making her heart race. She was glad when Ley’s hand moved from her waist to the center of her back, because her legs were starting to feel unstable. She wanted to fall into him, into his kiss. The way he maneuvered his mouth over hers was making her lose all sense of place and time, and she found herself wishing he’d never stop. When he began to pull away, she wanted to lean her head on his chest and catch her breath, but then she remembered she’d just met Ley and wasn’t even sure she liked him.

She took a step back, staring at him, wondering what had just happened.

“You see, that won’t do at all,” Ley said. “The Gestapo will be all over you. You’re acting like you’ve never been kissed before.”

Gracie sat on the sofa, her eyes still fixed on Ley. She hadn’t ever been kissed like that.

 

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SowardsAuthor A.L. Sowards

A.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she’s grateful she didn’t live back then. She doesn’t think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged.

Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/15/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Book Review: I am Sophie Tucker

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I am Sophie Tucker: A Fictional Memoir by Susan Ecker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was attracted to this book because of the time period. I really like reading books that are early 1900s, and this book had pictures which where really great.

I still wasn’t sure what historic fiction means, I have found that it means that the piece is written 50 years after it happened, and the writers are going by research. For this book the writers state “it is 85% fact and 15% who knows”.

Besides wanting to read about this time period I found the whole book really interesting, yes the book can bounce around, but I didn’t find it hard to keep up. I loved the stories and am amazed at what the character Sophie Tucker lived through and fought her way to be the top. I am sure it can still be that way today as well.

I also loved the part where she finds out the history of how her parents came to the USA. I have family that came to this country as well and find those stories really interesting.

If you like to read about historical books with a view from the writer, meaning Sophie Tucker, then this is a book for you to read.

I was provided this book by Netgally for an honest review. 

What Goodreads says the book is about:

Features more than 90 beautiful color and 120 black and white period illustrations.

Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities.

From 1906 through the beginning of television, Sophie Tucker and her bawdy, brash, and risqué songs paved the way for performers such as West, Monroe, Midler, Cher, Madonna, and Gaga.

“Sophie was like the Forrest Gump of the first half of the 1900s,” says co-author Susan Ecker. “She was close friends with seven presidents, King George VI, young Queen Elizabeth, Chaplin, J. Edgar, Capone, Garland, Jerry Lewis, Sinatra and every other notable of her era.”

Tucker tried to get her story published for nine years, without success. Undaunted, Sophie hired half a dozen ghostwriters, but she still had no takers for her no holds barred autobiography. Eventually, Doubleday published a sanitized version in 1945.

“After immersing ourselves in Sophie’s papers and surviving friends,” says co-author Lloyd Ecker, “this initial volume is what should have been the actual autobiography of Tucker.”

Though she obsessively documented her life, Sophie loved to exaggerate for dramatic effect. Over the years, she told multiple versions of each important event. At the end, not even Sophie knew the difference between truth and tall tale.

“This volume is 85% fact,” Lloyd explains. “The other 15% …who knows?”

I Am Sophie Tucker puts back all of the delicious bits nixed by Doubleday’s lawyers and throws in other Tucker show business dirt, intrigue, arrests, romance, murder, gangsters, and scandals. Now you can read it for yourself.

You can purchase this book from Amazon I am Sophie Tucker: A Fictional Memoir

 

About the Authors:

In 1973, Ithaca College students Susan Denner and Lloyd Ecker went on their first date to see an up-and-coming new singer named Bette Midler. Over the course of the evening, the couple fell in love with the Divine Miss M., her Sophie Tucker jokes, and each other.

Over the last forty years, the Eckers got married and had three children, and developed Babytobee. The sale of that business in 2006 allowed Sue and Lloyd to pursue their passion for bringing Sophie Tucker’s life to the page, stage, and screen.

 

 

View all my reviewsI love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl