Georgia Ann, English Rose by Elva Cobb Martin



MY REVIEW:

I’ll be honest and say that to me this book got off to a slow start and I was beginning to dread having to finish it. I persisted and just a few chapters in the action picked up considerably and pretty much did not let up until the satisfying end. Both the hero and heroine experienced harrowing and dangerous incidents that required divine intervention to save them.

Georgia Ann, English Rose is a tame title for a tale filled with pirates, danger on the high seas, prison, kidnapping, betrayal, courage, faith, and romance, Events that may have seemed to be coincidental placed Samuel and Georgia Ann in just the right place at just the right time on more than one occasion and the Lord used others in the same way again and again. At times romantic and often suspenseful with a surprise or two along the way, this novel was a pleasant surprise and I was glad I did not give up on it too soon.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Click here to get your copy!

Two Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

MORE FROM ELVA:

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and they lie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economy from the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

Cloves

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by.  And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

Elva Cobb Martin

BLOG STOPS:

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 24

Betti Mace, November 25

Labor Not in Vain , November 25

Daysong Reflections, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Elva is giving away the grand prize of a $50 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/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway

Forsaken Dreams by MaryLu Tyndall



MY REVIEW:

When I open the pages of a new novel by MaryLu Tyndall there are several things I know I can count on – an exciting adventure on the sea, most likely with some mystery and suspense, a turbulent romance, and an uncompromised message of faith. I am pleased to say that I found all of that and more within “Forsaken Dreams”. Even its gorgeous cover hints at what I found inside.

A varied group of Southerners have responded to an advertisement to leave the post-Civil war south to help set up a community in Brazil. Once aboard the ship where they will live in close quarters for weeks, they quickly find that it will not be an easy journey. The ship is plagued with a number of unexpected incidents from the very beginning, some of which remain unexplainable. As the story progresses, it is evident that many of the passengers harbor secrets that could affect the others. At times their very survival is questionable.

I admired Eliza. Because of poor choices in her past, she had hoped that one major secret would not be revealed. When it came to light the reactions of many of the passengers were very negative (to say the least) but Eliza continued to treat their medical problems with love and forgiveness which eventually won most of them over. Although Colonel Blake Wallace had fallen in love with Eliza, he could not bring himself to forgive her for her past.

I loved everything about this book. Although some secrets were revealed, many more were not. Although the book ended on a positive note, a sense of brooding darkness remained. Of course that is the perfect setup for the next novel in the Escape to Paradise series, “Elusive Hope”. I for one can’t wait for its November release.

This book was provided for review by The Bookclub Network.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Forsaken DreamsThey Left Everything behind to Build a New Southern Utopia.

Embark on a seafaring adventure in a brand-new series from bestselling author MaryLu Tyndall. After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new Utopian community. Widow Eliza Crawford seeks passage on Wallace’s ship harboring a dirty secret—and a blossoming hope for a fresh start. But will dangers from the sea and from man keep them from the peace and love they long for?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
MaryLu TyndallAcclaimed author, M.L. (MaryLu) Tyndall dreamed of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. After obtaining a degree in Math and working as software engineer for 15 years, she decided to test the waters as a writer. With now more than ten books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. As a follower of Christ, her stories often reflect her own journey and walk with God. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, and four cats on the California coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea.

Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Prize of My Heart
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
by
Lisa Norato
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A life-long New Englander, Lisa Norato lives in a historic village with homes and churches dating as far back as the eighteenth century. She was born into a close-knit Italian family that hungered as much for the things of God as they did for lasagna. After church, the family spent Sunday afternoons gathered in fellowship around a never-ending feast that featured her grandmother’s homemade spaghetti and pizza.

From the time she learned to read, her mother impressed her with the joy of getting lost in a good book. She passed novels along to her as early as age thirteen, but it wasn’t until many years later that Lisa felt compelled to write one herself.

She first discovered a love of writing when assigned to write and illustrate a children’s book at the art college she attended. She balances writing with a career as a legal assistant specializing in corporate law. When not creating stories, she enjoys domestic pursuits like precious time with her dog and family, cooking, baking and eating vegan, reading, her Bible, her favorite television shows and crocheting.

Lisa is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Rhode Island Romance Writers (RIRW) and American Colonial Christian Writers.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son–his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child’s whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder’s daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own–until the day anothers evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all–love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Prize of My Heart, go HERE.

Learn more about Lisa and her books on her Website.

MY REVIEW:

Heart’s Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes



MY REVIEW:

“Heart’s Safe Passage” jumps right into action with Phoebe Lee’s abduction as she is forced to accompany her sister-in-law aboard an English privateer bound to rescue her imprisoned husband. There is much more to this story than first meets the eye as one by one, hidden motives and secrets are revealed. Phoebe and the ship’s captain Rafe Docherty both have buried pain and unforgiveness that must be dealt with if they are ever to move on with life. Their unexpected attraction complicates all their plans and a future together seems impossible.

Although not a “pirate” story, “Heart’s Safe Passage” has it’s share of swashbuckling scenes with sea battles, storms, mutiny, murder, and daring rescues. The developing romance between Phoebe and Rafe is well done and Rafe’s daughter adds the perfect counterpoint to all the drama. The spiritual aspect of the narrative was well integrated and concluded perfectly. The scenes aboard the ship were so well done that I could almost feel the roll of the deck and the spray in my face.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Laurie Alice Eakes writes a stirring tale of love, intrigue, and adventure on the high seas. In book 2 of The Midwives series,you will feel the salt spray and the rolling waves as you make the journey with these vivid characters on the treacherous path toward redemption.

It’s 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.

Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda’s whining and Phoebe’s hostility, Rafe can’t help but wonder if he made the right choice.

When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the shores of England in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, A Necessary Deception, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Learn more about Laurie and her books on her website.

ENDORSEMENTS:

“In her delightful and descriptive style, author Laurie Alice Eakes has once again crafted a story that will capture readers’ hearts from the first page. Her tales are both exciting and tender, and her characters speak to us right where they are, despite the different cultural and time settings. Heart’s Safe Passage may well be her greatest offering to date.”–Kathi Macias, author of Deliver Me from Evil and A Christmas Journey Home

“I’m still thinking about the characters in Heart’s Safe Passage, the new novel from Laurie Alice Eakes. Her turn of phrase and twist of a plot had me smiling long after the last page was turned. Eakes has crafted a don’t-miss story. Well done!”–Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

“Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”