End of the World Giveaway Hop Winner

The End of the World Giveaway Hop has ended and, thankfully, we have more days to enjoy reading since the world didn’t end. The winner of this hop is Penni F. Congratulations Penni! 

I want to thank Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Jennifer from My Life With Books for organizing this hop and everyone that stopped by this blog and entered. I extend a very special thank you to author Lauren Willig for graciously providing three signed paperbacks from the Pink Carnation series, the prize for this giveaway.

Happy reading!

End of the World Giveaway Hop

The End of the World Giveaway Hop has been organized by Kathy at  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Jennifer at My Life With Books (thank you Kathy & Jennifer). The purpose of this hop is to provide an opportunity for bloggers to offer readers books that we’d save if the end of the world were imminent, books that we’re passionate about, or books about the end of the world. Since my list of books to save was simply too large and impractical I chose books that I’m passionate about, namely the Pink Carnation series by author Lauren Willig. I’ve read each and every one of the books in this series (some of them more than once) and consider myself very fortunate that Ms. Willig has graciously provided three signed paperback copies from this series.

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Book 4)

Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation. She must infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he and his master can stage their planned invasion of England.

Every spy has a weakness and for the Black Tulip that weakness is beautiful black-haired women-his ‘petals’ of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary easily catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipated that his own heart would be caught as well.

Fighting their growing attraction, impediments from their past, and, of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in a treacherous garden of lies.

And as our modern-day heroine, Eloise Kelly, digs deeper into England’s Napoleonic-era espionage, she becomes even more entwined with Colin Selwick, the descendant of her spy subjects.

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Book 5)

After 12 years in India, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, returns to his estates in England with a mission in mind– to infiltrate the infamous Hellfire club to unmask the man who murdered his mentor at the Battle of Assaye. Intent on revenge, Robert never anticipates that an even more difficult challenge awaits him, in the person of one Lady Charlotte Lansdowne.

Throughout her secluded youth, Robert was Lady Charlotte’s favorite knight in shining armor, the focus of all her adolescent daydreams. The intervening years have only served to render him more dashing. But, unbeknownst to Charlotte, Robert has an ulterior motive of his own for returning to England, a motive that has nothing to do with taking up the ducal mantle. As Charlotte returns to London to take up her post as Maid of Honor to Queen Charlotte, echoes from Robert’s past endanger not only their relationship but the very throne itself.

The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Book 7)

Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh—often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation—has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble.  When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle”, the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate 12-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? And is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?

The End of the World Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM ET on 12/21/2012. If we survive, the winner will be announced by 9:00 AM ET on 12/22/2012. Regrettably this giveaway is limited to residents of the US (sorry). All entries must use the official Rafflecopter form found here. Comments are appreciated but will not be considered as a valid entry.


Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For
pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is
absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the
reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza
in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero.
And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable
Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things
start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could
change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz
and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

Praise for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

O’Rourke’s sequel to The Man Who Loved Jane Austen brings the reader a skillfully choreographed romance and smartly old-fashioned love story that is poignant and completely enthralling, while being laden with well-researched details to satisfy any Austen fan.
~Regina Jeffers

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is a sweet Austen related romance with a time travel twist.
I felt the author captured Jane Austen’s voice very well and I enjoyed reading her thoughts and reactions as the story flowed.

~Naida the Bookworm

Imaginative, fresh and endearing. Well done!

~Ann Channon (Jane Austen House Museum)


Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage

With its rough gray shingles and weathered slate roof, Sea Pines cottage seems, at first glance, past its prime. But inside this remote fisherman’s house, a driftwood fire crackles in the fireplace, brightly colored rugs cover the floor, and cozy cushions dot the worn, welcoming furniture. A young man named Robert has retreated after the war, planning to spend his days writing, tending to the local lighthouse, and nursing his injuries. For company, he adopts a young Golden Retriever puppy named Meteor.

Robert and Meteor spend months in quiet companionship, until the day Robert rescues a young woman from a storm at sea. Strong-willed and intelligent, Laura sees past Robert’s injuries to the proud, passionate man beneath, and–with some matchmaking help from Meteor–they begin a new life together at the cottage. But even Meteor’s tireless devotion can’t protect his cherished family from all of life’s unexpected challenges–hurdles that will teach each of them lessons of courage, faith, friendship, and the enduring love that can sustain us through life’s coldest seasons. 

Praise for Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage

This story is unashamedly a sweet love story, perfect for a Christmas read, and will bring a tear to the eye of even the most cynical of us!

I just knew from the moment I read the forward that this was going to be a very sweet and touching story. And I was right!
~Sophia Rose


Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Author Sally Smith O’Rourke

Sally Smith O’Rourke is a surgical scrub nurse at the City of Hope national cancer research hospital in Duarte, California and resides in the near-by Victorian village of Monrovia.

With her late husband, author Michael O’Rourke (aka F.M. O’Rourke) Smith O’Rourke owned and operated a medical advertising company where she used her diverse talents to produce and co-write teaching films and videos. Working not only with major medical and surgical manufacturing companies but also network television. These endeavors ultimately led to a collaboration on two feature films (direct to video) and three published novels.

The wife and husband writing team of Sally Smith and Michael O’Rourke, being long-time fans of Jane Austen, wrote The Man Who Loved Jane Austen released by Kensington Books in 2006. Kensington followed that very successful effort with The Maidenstone Lighthouse in 2007 and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage in 2009, both also collaborative projects by Smith and O’Rourke. Published after her partner and spouse’s untimely death in 2001, the publisher chose not to use the names Michael O’Rourke and Sally Smith (as the manuscripts were presented), releasing all three books under Sally Smith O’Rourke.

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is Sally Smith O’Rourke’s first solo novel.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter 

$50 Book Blast Giveaway
Ends 12/23/12

Open to anyone 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’s permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Guest Post: Author Samuel Ben White

Reading Into Writing
by Samuel Ben White
Sitting in a high school English class, listening to the teacher tell us that some prominent author’s use of flowers (probably nasturtiums, as they seem to always be on the ragged edge of polite flowerdom), is actually a metaphor for the blight affecting the inner city of Tulsa following World War II.  The one question I wanted to ask was: “How do you know?”
As we explored (“explored” in the sense of “copied down verbatim notes on what the teacher said in preparation for regurgitating it back on a test”) the works of famous authors and writers like Shakespeare, Coleridge and Faulkner, the question kept coming to my mind, “How do we KNOW that’s what the author was shooting for?  Sure, that line about a squirrel hide being tacked to the barn door MIGHT represent the crucifixion of our Lord, or maybe the author just had an uncle who tacked squirrel hides to barn walls and that’s always stuck with him and this seemed like as good a place as any to insert it in a story.”
Those of us who attended school in the 80s had teachers who had grown up in the sixties, which meant that some of our explorations were going to be to dissect the words of popular songs.  Or, actually, songs that were popular when the teacher was in school, back “when rock-n-roll meant something!”  So we were given a list of songs and told to find and listen to, say, three of them and try to discern the meaning, the meta-meaning, and the societal impact of the song.
One of mine was “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors which, I am convinced, is one of the greatest songs ever written.  With his passion for Nietzsche and other bleak writers, Jim Morrison had crafted an almost perfect song for the short tragedy of his life.  Still, I was convinced then—and still am now—that not every line was fraught with meaning.  So few things in life are truly fraught, when you come down to it.  The song itself is meaningful—even fraught, if I may be so bold—but some of the individual lines were, I am convinced, there to serve one primary purpose: rhyme.  (Why, for instance, is “an actor out on loan” as bad as a “dog without a bone”?)
CS Lewis once wrote that he wished he had been clever enough to have put into his writings some of the things that people had found there.  As a writer, I have had a little inkling of what that feels like and have found it to be something of a double-edged sword.
It’s fun when someone writes in to say they appreciate the subtle way you worked some deep thought into your book (or article or blog or cartoon), especially if you put it there on purpose.  The two sides of the sword show themselves, first, on those occasions when someone appreciates something you hadn’t intended.  “Um, why, YES, I did intend for the kid playing in the road to be a foreshadowing of the collapse of Jeffersonian diplomacy.”  After which you run to a copy of your own book (in this case First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch — find it at www.garisonfitch.com) to see a] if there’s a kid playing in the road (check) and 2] was it really a deep moment or was it just a brief device intended to move the plot from point E to point F?  (Double-check, but where did he get that Jeffersonian thing?!?!)
The second and more frequently encountered side of the sword is where you, as the omniscient author, intentionally put something deep in the story but—as far you can tell—no one got it.  Did you bury it too deep, or under too many layers of metaphor?  Are the readers—heaven forbid—all dullards?  Or is the reason no one got it just that no one wanted it?
Then, some reader does.  Somebody in a town in West Virginia that you’ve never heard of writes you an email telling you “I got it” and then detailing that they truly did.  For that one moment, you feel that particular West Virginian is the smartest, the canniest, the most intuitive person in the world and you, for that same moment, are Shakespeare, Coleridge and Morrison all rolled into one and you dream of the day in the future when some high school teacher tries to tell the class about the masterful imagery you created.  And you’re so high on success that you don’t mind the thought that some of the kids in that futuristic class are going to ask disdainfully, “How does she know that?”

About the author:

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at http://www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at http://www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

Connect to the author:   Website   |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Buy the book:

Gratitude Giveaway Winner

The Gratitude Giveaways hop has finished. Once again I offer a huge “thank you” to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for organizing this hop. 

The winner of this giveaway is Beverly A. Congratulations Beverly! Beverly will be receiving a $25 Amazon gift card and a reading journal.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that stopped by and participated in this giveaway hop.

Happy reading!