Book Review – The Headmistress of Rosemere

The Headmistress of Rosemere cover artTitle: The Headmistress of Rosemere, Whispers on the Moors (Book 2)

Author: Sarah E. Ladd

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Book Description

Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.

Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.

Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property — including the land where Rosemere School is located — but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.

When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives—and their hearts.

My Review

The Headmistress of Rosemere is a wonderful read for anyone who enjoys historical romance. Set in Regency England, the story presents two vastly different characters whose lives are falling apart to some degree. Patience Creighton is the acting headmistress at a girls’ school called Rosemere. Since her father’s death and her brother’s departure, she has been in charge of the school. She has also struggled to bring her mother out of the melancholy she descended into after her husband’s death. The pressure of running the school, caring for twenty-nine students, and her inability to help her mother weighs heavily on Patience. She wants to seek God’s help, but she finds it next to impossible to pray when she feels as though He is no longer listening.

William Sterling, a titled gentleman who leases Rosemere to the Creighton family, has his own problems. Thanks to impulsive decisions and a bad habit of gambling, he’s broke. He’s also in debt to a man who has no problem sending his henchmen to rough William up as a reminder to pay his debts. After years of struggling, William wants to rebuild his estate and his reputation. It’s not as easy as it sounds, especially since he can’t seem to find the path he should follow in life.

Through a series of unfortunate events, Patience and William speak several times. Despite attempts by both parties to quell the attraction between them, it continues to grow. They can’t give in to it, however. For one thing, it wouldn’t be proper. For another, they are each dealing with so much on their own that they don’t have the time or strength for romance. Yet that doesn’t stop the budding relationship from taking hold. Circumstances, however, have the potential to destroy their relationship before it fully takes form.

The element of faith is woven into this Christian romance so seamlessly that it is a natural part of the story. Both Patience and William have realistic struggles that any reader can relate to. The historical details are beautifully described. The role of women in Regency England is shown through Patience’s struggles to stay in her place and remember that no matter how capable she may be, it is still a man’s world. Overall, this is one of the most intriguing historical romances I’ve read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Regency-era romances.

Disclaimer

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My review is based solely on the contents of the book and my experience reading it.

When deep thoughts refuse to be ignored…

I spend a lot of time thinking. It’s one of the hazards of being an author. Sometimes my thoughts lead to a new story idea or solve a problem, but sometimes they show me a problem I hadn’t previously noticed or paid attention to.

Today is one of those days where my deep thoughts refuse to be ignored, so I thought I’d share them with you.🙂

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games logo

The Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, started yesterday with the opening ceremony. During the Olympic Games a few weeks ago, I got excited because there was talk of greater coverage for the Paralympics. I’ve spent the last few weeks waiting with great anticipation for the start of the games because I was under the impression they would be widely viewable on television. Yesterday, I found out just how wrong I was.

NBC hold the broadcast rights for the Paralympics. That means they’re the only ones who can legally show the events in the United States. Normally this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but for those of us without cable, that means only one channel will be able to air the Paralympic events. After seeing the schedule, I am seriously disappointed with NBC. That one channel I get will show precisely two events on the last day of the Games. They say that they’re giving the Paralympics 70 hours of coverage. That’s seventy hours in a twelve-day period. After the almost constant coverage for the Olympic Games, a measly seventy hours (almost exclusively on one premium channel) is disgusting.

My local news has yet to mention the Paralympic Games. I totally expected to see a brief mention of the opening ceremony on last night’s newscast, but the closest they came was mentioning the punishment swimmer Ryan Lochte received for lying about getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio.

And this is where my deep thoughts begin.

The disabled population is largely ignored in the United States, unless they can be used to raise money for something. Do you know that the most disabled people I’ve seen on television are in commercials for various organizations trying to get donations? And most of those are for veterans. There are a lot more disabled people who never served in the military, and all people with disabilities, regardless of what caused the disability, deserve treatment equal to the able-bodied population.

Yet, the lack of attention for the Paralympic Games is indicative of how American society views the disabled population. There are world-class athletes competing in the same venues swarmed with media mere weeks ago who are being completely ignored. The only difference I see is that a few weeks ago the athletes were all able-bodied. This time, each athlete has a disability of some form. They trained and worked just as hard (if not harder) to get to Rio as their able-bodied counterparts, but from a media standpoint, they might as well not exist.

Take a look at television and movies. How many people with disabilities do you see? People talk a lot about the need for diversity in media, yet even a majority of those discussions revolve around skin color and sexual orientation. What about those with disabilities? Are they not part of society as much as anyone else?

If we truly want equality for all and to see true diversity, we need to stop ignoring people with disabilities. We need to stop hiding them in the shadows and treating them as second-class citizens. Nothing would make me happier than to see a person in a wheelchair or on crutches play a lead role in a TV series. Or to have a blind person or someone who is hearing impaired be the protagonist of a movie. Or just to have athletes with disabilities receive the attention they deserve for making it to the Paralympics.

This country has a lot of problems, and as long as we continue to pretend an entire segment doesn’t matter, the claims of equality will fall flat.

~~

If you’re in the United States and you want to view live streaming of Paralympic events, you can do so at TeamUSA.org.

~~

Join The West Corner Readers on Facebook to chat about books, everyday life, and more.

Who wants to chat?

I’m so excited! I’ve finally carried through with an idea I had a few months ago. As of today, I have my very own discussion group on Facebook!

OwlCoverPhoto

What does that mean, exactly? Let me share the group’s description, since it sums things up pretty well:

Welcome! The West Corner Readers is the official chat group for author E.A. West. If you want to get the latest news first, see new covers before anyone else, have exclusive access to the author, and more, this is the place to be.

This is a place where I can hang out with readers, make connections, and we can all get to know each other. As you can see from the description, it’s also the place to find out my latest writing news before anyone else. So if you love getting the inside scoop before it hits the general public, you’ll want to join The West Corner Readers. If you’ve always wanted to chat with an author, but you’re not sure how to do it, I’ll be in this group ready to chat away. I would love to have you come join the conversation!

Joining is simple. Log in to your Facebook account, visit this link, and click the button labeled “Join Group”. I’ll have you approved in no time.🙂

If you know anyone who would be interested in joining this author’s little group, please share away! The more the merrier, I always say.🙂

News! News!

It’s been an exciting few weeks around the West house. In addition to the usual family stuff and writing, I’ve been super busy with edits. That’s right. This girl has new release coming in October!

Covered is a new adult romance novella. If you love sweet romance, motorcycles clubs, and proverbial knights in shining armor, this one is for you. I had so much fun writing this one, and the hero is totally swoon-worthy. *happy sigh*

In other news, Pelican Book Group gave me a contract for an inspirational romance novel! Tentatively titled Redeeming Honor, this book is one of my favorites. How do a yarn-creating heroine and a hero from Afghanistan sound?

Yeah, it’s a little different, but these characters and this story captured my heart. At some point, probably next year, they’ll capture yours, too. Oh, I can’t wait for you to meet Meghan and Basir!

You can keep up with all the latest on my  Facebook page and Twitter. Also, did you know I’m on Instagram? You should totally check it out and give me a follow. *wink*

Book Spotlight – I do? – Or do I? by Karen King

Please welcome Karen King to The West Corner! She’s here today with her new chick lit novel, I do? – Or do I?

I Do... or Do I? cover artBook Description

Local journalist Cassie is getting married to hot-shot lawyer, reliable Timothy and his mother Sylvia, who Cassie has nicknamed ‘Monster-in-Law’, wants to plan the entire wedding. When Sylvia books the exclusive ID Images to take photographs of the extravagant do, Cassie has no idea what she’s walking into.

The elusive JM, ID Images’ newest photographer, just so happens to be Jared, Cassie’s first love and ex-fiancé, who broke off their engagement to travel and take photos of far-reaching wonders. He’s back to pay for his next wild adventure.

Cassie decides it’s best to pretend not to know him, but when she’s asked to write an article for her newspaper, she’s tasked with a column surrounding all things wedding related. When Cassie jokingly writes a column meant for herself depicting her situation, a co-worker submits it in place of the real article and it’s soon making headlines, with readers asking the age old question – Who Will She Choose?

Excerpt

Jared must have seen the panic in her eyes because he quickly composed himself and shook Sylvia’s hand. ‘Delighted to meet you. And this must be the bride-to-be.’ He smiled at Cassie as if he’d never met her before. Never held her in his arms, kissed her, made love to her, promised that he’d love her forever and then walked out on her.

She’d often imagined seeing Jared again, wondered how she’d react. Now it all came flooding back and all she could do was remember how utterly devastated she’d felt when he’d walked out on her.

Get a grip, Cassie told herself. That was years ago. You’re over it now. You’re marrying Timothy. Jared is history.

She was suddenly aware that Jared was holding out his hand to her and Sylvia was watching her curiously. She forced a smile on her face and shook his hand, desperately hoping she showed no sign that his touch still made her tingle.

‘Miss Tyler,’ he said smoothly.

‘Call me Cassie,’ she told him. ‘Sorry I kept you waiting.’

‘Not a problem.’

How she wished she’d arrived on time. Jared used to tease her about being late. He probably thought she was still as ditzy as she was back then. If only she’d put on one of her power suits instead of a maxi dress, then she would have looked sophisticated and professional. Like she’d changed; which she had.

Oh God, she was still holding his hand. What must Sylvia think? She quickly removed her hand, tore her gaze from those big brown eyes, and tried to act as if her body wasn’t zinging at his touch. Just like it always had.

‘Take a seat, ladies, and tell me exactly what sort of photographs you’re looking for.’ He glanced down at his notes. ‘I see that the wedding is only two months away.’

‘Yes, we decided against a long engagement,’ Sylvia replied as if she was the bride. She sat down in one of the plush dark brown chairs and indicated for Cassie to take the other seat. ‘Timothy and Cassandra got engaged on Valentine’s Day and we thought a summer wedding would be lovely. Especially when we managed to secure Hollington Castle,’ she paused to make sure this announcement had the desired effect.

Jared nodded, looking suitably impressed, and Sylvia continued, ‘I know it’s short notice but Daniel assured me you’d be able to fit us in.’ She was letting him know that she was on first name terms with the director of the company.

Jared nodded again. ‘We’ve had a cancellation for that date, so yes, we can accommodate you both.’ His gaze flicked to Cassie then back to Sylvia. ‘Would you like a cup of coffee while we discuss the arrangements?’

‘Thank you. Black with no sugar, please.’

Jared raised an eyebrow questioningly at Cassie. ‘And for you, Cassie?’

‘Black with no sugar for me too, please,’ she replied. That would surprise him. She always used to have white coffee with two sugars. The Cassie he used to know had a sweet tooth. At least that was one thing that had changed. Except it hadn’t, really, she was only drinking black coffee to make sure she could get into her wedding dress. Well, to be honest she was drinking black coffee in front of Timothy and his mother because they would frown and remind her about needing to get into the wedding dress. When they weren’t around she still took her coffee with milk and sugar. She thought longingly of the iced mocha she’d be enjoying with Sam later.

Jared pressed the intercom and asked the receptionist to bring in the coffees, then he leant forward, linked his hands under his chin, and gave Cassie the benefit of his full attention. Devastating. She quickly averted her gaze. ‘Now, tell me about the wedding,’ he said. ‘It’s important that I get a feel of the atmosphere you’re trying to create so I know what tone to set with the photos. We aim to be professional but not intrusive. And please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have. We want our clients to be completely happy and relaxed on their special day. We won’t take offence at all if you decide that we aren’t the right photographers for you.’

You’re not! Cassie’s mind was screaming. You’re the very last person I want as my photographer. Ever. For a moment she feared she’d uttered the words aloud, but Sylvia was now talking to Jared, so clearly it was all in her head

~~

I do? – Or do I? is available from Amazon, Book Depository, and Waterstones.

~~

About the Author

photo of author Karen KingA member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, Karen King writes sassy, contemporary romance just right for reading on the beach. ‘I DO – or Do I?’ is her first chick lit for Accent Press. She has been contracted for two more.

Karen has had two other romance novels, several short stories for women’s magazine and 120 children’s books published.

When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

Connect with Karen Online

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Children’s Books Facebook Page

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

Book Spotlight – The Debutante Bride by Wendy May Andrews

The Debutante Bride cover art

Please welcome author Wendy May Andrews to The West Corner! She’s here today to share an excerpt from her new Regency romance, The Debutante Bride.

The Debutante Bride cover artBook Description

Miss Elizabeth Dunseith, Beth to her friends, grew up in genteel poverty, happy despite her abusive father and weak mother. When her father sells her to the highest bidder in order to pay off his gambling debts, she fears what her future will hold but is relieved to get away from home with her new, handsome husband.

Lord Justin Fulton, Earl of Westfield, is confused by the contradictory behavior of his purchased bride. One moment she is haughty and cool, the next she is warm and endearing. When his sister refuses to help establish his new bride in Society, Justin turns to a friend’s wife to show Beth the best way to navigate the politics of the ton.

Their growing attraction just seems to confuse matters even further. Will these two be able to see past their differences to make it to happily ever after?

Excerpt

As she came to wakefulness, Beth held herself very still, momentarily surprised to find herself in a strange bed, but then it all rushed back into her consciousness. She was a married lady. A countess at that. And she had only met her husband thirty-six hours before.

The thrill of freedom flowed through her as she reminded herself once more that she would never again have to return to the house she grew up in unless she so chose. Of course, she would want to see her mother again, but she allowed herself to bask in the contentment she was experiencing. She wiggled her toes and stretched her arms, reveling in the new sensation.

The unknown factor of her new husband was obviously of concern, but so far he had been remarkably even tempered. She would even go so far as to describe him as kind, at least what she had seen of him in their short acquaintance. Beth could not decide how she felt about how handsome he was. He was deliciously attractive, but she was unsure if that could be trusted. No doubt other women would find it to be a point in his favor.

~~

The Debutante Bride is available from Amazon and other online retailers.

~~

About the Author

photo of author Wendy May AndrewsWendy May Andrews has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. This is Wendy’s third book with Clean Reads.

Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favorite travel companion.

Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, on twitter or Facebook.

Connect with Wendy Online

Website: www.wendymayandrews.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Twitter: www.twitter.com/WendyMayAndrews

Instagram: @wendymayandrews

Guest Post – Author Wendy May Andrews

Please welcome author Wendy May Andrews to The West Corner!

What I’ve learned since becoming an author

While I was writing my first book, I had no idea how much I didn’t know. I knew I had a lot to learn, but I thought it was all to do with craft – how to create more believable characters, deepen conflict, engage the reader. Yes, all that is, of course, very important, I would even say the most important, but after that book got a contract and I continued to write more books, I found out what else I needed to learn.

As an author, the writing is just the beginning. First there’s the editing. I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know what Track Changes was! My first set of edits had to be done twice because of that (sigh). It also turns out that I have a HUGE comma weakness. I have had to read scores of articles about the proper use of the comma. My first line editor nearly quit on me due to my lack of commas. Editors are a writer’s best ally.

I had also never been into social media before so figuring out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tsu all posed various levels of frustration. Thankfully they are reasonably user friendly and I am slowly getting hooked on each and every one of them. Previously, I couldn’t understand articles I would read about the need to limit your time online chatting. Now I get it and am starting to look into various apps that will cut off your online access for predetermined lengths of time – another lovely invention for writers!

My most recent technological education was with Rafflecopter. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a means for getting people to perform various tasks in order to be entered to win a prize. Tasks can be as simple as answering a poll or signing up to follow me on Twitter. Rafflecopter.com is remarkably user friendly, but unfortunately, while I was trying to set it up I was also dealing with computer problems (double sigh). But it is finally all set and ready to go. If you’d like to check it out and enter to win a $25 Amazon card, visit my website.

I never would have thought being an author would be so educational. But it really is the best job ever! I can’t wait to see what I’m going to learn tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…

About the Author

photo of author Wendy May AndrewsWendy May Andrews has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. This is Wendy’s third book with Clean Reads.

Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favorite travel companion.

Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, on twitter or Facebook.

Connect with Wendy Online

Website: www.wendymayandrews.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Twitter: www.twitter.com/WendyMayAndrews

Instagram: @wendymayandrews

The Debutante Bride cover artBook Description

Miss Elizabeth Dunseith, Beth to her friends, grew up in genteel poverty, happy despite her abusive father and weak mother. When her father sells her to the highest bidder in order to pay off his gambling debts, she fears what her future will hold but is relieved to get away from home with her new, handsome husband.

Lord Justin Fulton, Earl of Westfield, is confused by the contradictory behavior of his purchased bride. One moment she is haughty and cool, the next she is warm and endearing. When his sister refuses to help establish his new bride in Society, Justin turns to a friend’s wife to show Beth the best way to navigate the politics of the ton.

Their growing attraction just seems to confuse matters even further. Will these two be able to see past their differences to make it to happily ever after?

The Debutante Bride is available from Amazon and other online retailers.