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Saturday, June 18, 2022
About the Book
Book: Much Ado About Persuasion
Author: Barbara Cornthwaite
Genre: Historical/Jane Austen Retelling
Release date: May 3, 2022
Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.
When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?
Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?
All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?
Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.
Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her six children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.
More from Barbara
I discovered Jane Austen in college when I was required to read Pride and Prejudice. This was in the dark ages before the famous adaptations, and I knew nothing about the storyline. In fact, I expected it to be depressing, probably because the title sounded similar to War and Peace. It was a delightful surprise to be charmed by the novel, and I went on to read all Austen’s other books on my own. Each of them have a special place in my heart. I love Emma so much that I wrote a two-book parallel novel for it (the George Knightley, Esquireseries). I also have novellas based on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma in the A Very Austen anthologies. This book, however, is the first thing I’ve written based on Persuasion.
Shakespeare I met in high school, and furthered my acquaintance with him in college. Much Ado About Nothing is, I think, my favorite of his plays (although there are several close contenders for the top spot). His grasp of character is unmatched, and his language, even after five hundred years, is striking.
Mixing the stories of these two authors has been great fun, and redeeming a couple of characters who didn’t learn anything from their mistakes in the original stories gives my version a spiritual twist. I hope you enjoy it!
I may be one of the few readers who are not familiar with Jane Austen and her books. Oh I have heard of them but never taken the time to actually give one a try. I felt like I would be at a disadvantage reading this story but the author welcomes readers with an ease into the world where many are fascinated by everything related to this part of well known stories.
It was entertaining to see how an author meshed two stories together and accomplish a journey with characters that I came to like. I kept thinking how prim and proper everyone seemed yet they each shared struggles along the way. I laughed when one of the women declared she would never marry. She did enjoy bantering with one particular man who for me made the story a bit more enticing.
I loved the historical feel of the story with undertones of guilt, redemption and happiness all put together in a delightful story. After reading this book, I have given myself a challenge. I will be reading books that are based on this story and know that I will find an admiration for this time period and the characters which I want to follow.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
For TV chef Adela Romero, the lights of LA have lost their luster. The grief of her husband’s death three years ago still hangs heavy over her and her daughter, Fabi.
When Adela hears her mother-in-law’s Mexican diner is struggling, she decides to return to San Antonio and try to make a fresh start—though she can’t leave the media attention entirely behind.
Local food critic David Agraponte has a history with Adela. A history he’d like to rekindle. When he interviews Adela, sparks fly—both good and bad. In Adela’s struggle to put her past behind her, she’s tentative about a new relationship, but David hopes she’ll stay at Romero’s long enough to give him a chance.
Sandra always dreamed of managing Romero’s one day, but her chances of proving herself to her aunt are slim with her famous TV-chef cousin taking all the attention. Can’t her aunt see that Adela’s just passing through on her way to her next big gig? Still, as much as she resents it, Sandra may need Adela’s help if there is going to be a Romero’s left for her to manage.
When Adela gets a TV offer that’s sure to shoot her career to the stars, her choice may hold more than just her future in the balance. Can David and Adela find a way to save Romero’s and hold onto their own dreams, or will Adela’s opportunity push them apart?
Miralee Ferrell is an award-winning, best-selling author of 27 books. Her novel, Runaway Romance, released in January 2018 on UP TV, and subsequently on Hallmark on Demand, and From the Heart, aired in 2020 on Hallmark. Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon, aired September of 2021, and Finding Love in San Antonio will air sometime in 2022.
Miralee is the owner and founder of Mountain Brook Ink, a traditional publisher with over 100 titles, a large number them being award-winners. She lives in the Pacific N.W. with her husband, two cats, sixteen chickens, and one very spoiled little dog. Miralee loves horseback riding and hiking with her married daughter.
While Miralee has spoken in a number of venues, she doesn’t see herself as a speaker as much as an encourager. She loves helping writers find ways to succeed, improve, and learn to believe in themselves, whether by teaching a class, leaving positive comments in an edit or critique, or speaking to groups about her writing journey and how the Lord might minister to them.
Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and spent most of her life in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Kimberly Rose Johnson here. I’m excited to share my story behind the writing of Finding Love In San Antonio. Last year Miralee Ferrell approached me about a project she was working on. She wanted me to write the story of a secondary character into a book she was adapting from a movie, and bonus, I was given license to choose the character. She sent me the script and my imagination took off. What fun!
I knew right away which character’s story I wanted to write. So many ideas of who this woman was behind the scenes filled my mind. I chose Sandra, the heroin’s cousin by marriage. Sandra was sassy in the script and somewhat negative toward Adela. As a positive person who tries to see the bright side in every situation, this bothered me about her, so I had to create a strong reason why she would be this way. In the final cut of the movie, I don’t think Sandra came across nearly as negative as she did in the version of the screenplay I originally saw, so I think along with the backstory I gave her and the fact that I toned Sandra down worked well.
Before this book neither Miralee or I had never co-written a book before,, but I must say, I enjoyed it! I had written a story within a story for one of my own books in the past, so I basically did the same thing for this one. We are both so pleased with the outcome that we are going to do it again.
We hope you enjoy seeing the fleshed out version of the movie in our book!
I really enjoyed this clean, sweet story about family conflicts. The book is a look at a family with different goals and a yearning to find their place in life. I will say I was hungry the entire time I read the book. There were so many awesome meals shared in the story that I wanted to join the family. With the crisp details about the food, I could smell the aroma and almost taste each bite that was eaten.
I thought the concept of the book was nice as we follow Adela and her daughter on a journey back home. I loved the setting of San Antonio since I live in Texas. The Riverwalk is filled with restaurants that will satisfy any hungry person. The atmosphere of San Antonio is rich in history and is welcoming to all. Adela impressed me with how her career is going and gets an opportunity to heighten it with an offer many chefs would love to have. As she and her daughter travel back to San Antonio to visit family that is where the heartbeat of the story begins.
There are several characters in the book that each are looking for a place to belong. Sandra has worked so hard at Romero’s and has this dream to run it someday. With business slowing down decisions need to be made to try to save the restaurant. It was interesting to see how the dynamics in the family were flawed at times. Jealousy plays a key role between Sandra and Adela that cause angry words to divide them. I was pleased with how the story shows that family is important and shallowing your pride can mend relationships.
The women in the story have one thing in common for sure and that is wanting to be happy and finding love. I especially liked how it included older people who were hoping to find a relationship and how sweet it was to watch them act like teenagers at times when they are given a compliment or find someone who catches their eye that gives them confidence.
Will Adela take her big chance at fame and leave her family behind? Can Sandra find happiness if she doesn’t get the opportunity to mange the restaurant? I can’t forget Fabi who for me was the highlight of the book. She may be a teenager but she grounded and very wise in ways that surprised me. She seemed to be the peace maker in the family and stood her ground when her mother wants to travel and leave her behind.
Throughout the book readers get a taste of two authors working together to deliver a story rich in family, faith, hope and healing. I loved how their writing styles compliment each other and mesh together in a seamless manner. The ending is very nice and yes I did cry a bit but they were happy tears.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller.
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
About the Narrator
Speaking Life into Story
Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *
More from Christa
I read this book in February 2022 and now I have had the pleasure of listening to it on audio. Christa is the perfect person to read this book because her voice is soothing yet emotional when needed. She helps bring the story to life with her distinction between characters and makes the story flow as we are captured by her voice. I’m a big fan of hers and each audio I hear from her makes me appreciate the talent she has to compliment each book.
Well Chautona you have finally done it. You have written one of the best books I have ever read. There are many stories out there about second chances and forgiveness. What sets this book apart from others is the characters who not only express their weaknesses but they address them with realistic emotions. My heart broke as the story unfolds into this long ago relationship that never quite got a chance to blossom.
There are a few characters I want to focus on because they defined the story for me. Patti’s life has been filled with pain, abuse, regrets and anger. Marrying the man she did was more out of a sense of honoring her word. Patti tries so hard to make the marriage work, but she had no idea that her husband was dealing with PTSD. It was during the Vietnam war that he served and no one really understood the physiological effects it had on those who served at that time. It would be easy to be angry at Jon for the abuse he inflicted on his family, but the author made me look deeper into his character. Yes I was angry at what he did, but I also wanted him to get help and realize that he needed to change his life. Somehow I felt sorrow for him as his life exploded around him. Maybe he thought that he was unworthy to be loved and gave up. The author deals with PTSD with understanding and shows that it affects everyone in different ways.
One of the most emotional parts of the book is when Patti cries out and expresses her anger towards God. Why did He allow her to go through so much pain during her marriage? Perhaps in our moments of why me, we should be asking “what message are you teaching me God? So many years passed and she still found her heart yearning for someone she never forgot. It is time to get the tissues ready because here comes the part where I start to break down in tears.
I think my favorite character in the entire story is a woman who loved her husband knowing that he loved another woman. I admire how she gave grace to a man who still hopes someday to rekindle a relationship with another woman. Their marriage is good and Frank did love Gina but he couldn’t give his full heart to her. I cried as I realized the sacrifice Gina made as a wife. She loved her husband and was willing to share his emotional bond with someone from his past. How many of us could do that? I don’t think I could. Her character taught me how to be kind, gentle and forgiving.
Mallory is the one who finds a diary that sets off years of old memories for two people. Her determination to solve the mystery of who the diary belongs to opens the door for a beautiful journey through years where hope and second chances can happen no matter how old you are. The ending is both joyful and a bit of a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see where Mallory and Benjamin’s story goes.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
FBI behavioral analyst Alex Donovan and her colleague Logan Hart have been called upon to write a profile for a missing woman, but a little digging quickly turns up more disappearances in Virginia with the same physical description.
Alex is in a race against the clock to rescue the missing victims, so when the UNSUB makes demands of her in exchange for information, Alex takes the bait. But when her life is put in jeopardy, Logan must do whatever it takes to track them down before time runs out.
Alex works to think one step ahead of the suspect, but the more Logan and the BAU learn about the serial kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.
"The relentless pace will keep readers glued to their seats . . . This pulse-pounding romantic thriller is a wild ride."--Publishers Weekly
This book is a chilling, dangerous, intriguing and suspenseful read. I loved how the author delivers characters that are smart, caring and determined. This story does have an eerie quality to it which made me want to sit on the edge of my chair while reading. It did make me think of how sad it can be to be bullied and have to endure the torture over and over in your mind. In this story we are taken back to fifteen years ago where a young boy wanted so desperately to be accepted. He lived with carnies and really didn’t have a family. I think the people he was around felt sorry for him and just let him stay because he had no family. When he is humiliated something triggers in his mind.
I loved how Alex and Logan worked together to try to solve the case. They were methodical and worked long hours. There is definitely an attraction between them but the author didn’t focus on that much which I liked. The case is difficult and Alex puts herself in danger as she decides to lure the UNSUB out of hiding. Her determination was good and I loved how the author included scriptures and prayer throughout the story.
Logan is sidelined when a medical emergency forces him to have emergency surgery. I admired how he trusted God and never doubted that he would be okay. Even though he was at a hospital he never was really off the job. The team kept him up to date as he went through a difficult time due to his health.
This is part three in the series and even though it can be read out of order I highly recommend reading them all to understand the characters and their relationship to each other. It also shows how the team uses different techniques to solve crimes. The story details that women are being kidnapped and all have something in common. The author slowly peels the evidence apart layer by layer until it reaches a heart pounding ending. If you are looking for a story filled with suspense, faith and action this is a must read.
I received a copy of this book from Librarything Early Reader Program and the author. The review is my own opinion.
Nancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.
All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help."
You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: www.nancymehl.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!
Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer’s sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her but instead must identify her body. Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan. Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the death are tied to that of her sister. Could the killer be the man with whom she’s falling in love?
Since the time I could read Nancy Drew, I have wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 I attended a book signing at my local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, is history. There I met Colleen Coble. With prompting from my husband, I shared my dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, I’ve been writing award-winning books with the count currently at 35 published and more in the works.
In addition to writing, I am a mom of four, attorney, clinical professor at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, my husband, and my kids. I graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s MBA program. You can learn more about my books at http://www.caraputman.com. And if you’d like a copy of my legal suspense novella, Dying for Love, simply connect with me here (http://www.caraputman.com/contact/), and I’ll send you the link.
More from Cara
One of the things I loved about writing Stars in the Night, set during World War II, is that I learned so many things. As a World War II history nut, that keeps the writing fresh and exciting. Here are a few of the things I learned while writing Stars in the Night:
1) There really was a Hollywood Victory Caravan. The Hollywood Victory Caravan traveled by train Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., then north through cities like Chicago and Minneapolis.
2) If something had happened to the train, Hollywood would have been ravaged. The real caravan was filled with stars like Abbott and Costello, Desi Arnez, Bing Crosby, and Groucho Marx. The papers at the time said the stars would have gone out in Hollywood if anything had happened.
3) The first train entertained the President and Mrs. Roosevelt at the White House. What a great way to launch the tour. And Mrs. Roosevelt had a staff member standing immediately behind her to help her “remember” everyone who came by so she could say something personal to them.
4) The Winecoff Hotel, where I have my stars stay while they’re in Atlanta, was the site of the worst hotel fire in American history and has recently been restored and renovated.
5) I initially considered having the tour appear at Ford’s Theater, but it was essentially abandoned during the World War Two era – and was used as storage. Hard to believe if you tour that beautifully restored theater today.
6) The National Theater has had continuous shows running since December 1835. Fortunately for my story, it had a hole the summer of 1942, which fit perfectly with when I wanted my caravan to have a show there.
7) The Hollywood Canteen didn’t open until later in 1942. Since my first book involved a canteen, I really wanted to include the Hollywood Canteen. Besides, what’s more romantic than movie stars mixing with and entertaining servicemen? Unfortunately, it was in the planning stages during Stars in the Night. Maybe in the next book…
As you can see, I love the details of history. I hope Stars in the Night sweeps you away to a time that was rich in service, glamour, and conflict.
I enjoyed the setting of Hollywood in 1942. Some of the most famous stars were just rising in popularity and it was nice to see some names I recognized mentioned in the story. Many during that time period glamorized Hollywood and wanted so much to make it big there. Rosemary had this dream of bring a famous movie star and waited everyday for her big break.I wonder how many fell victim to the dark side of Hollywood?
With the arrival in Hollywood of Rosemary’s sister Audra, there was a hint of danger lurking for her. Where would Rosemary disappear to? We do find out quickly in the story that Rosemary was murdered but with little details. I did find it strange that Audra would not return to be at her sister’s funeral with family. Her reason was to investigate on her own the death of her sister. To me that just didn’t seem believable and I thought her devotion to her sister wasn’t as strong as we are led to believe.
I have never heard of the Hollywood Victory Caravan and decided to look it up on the internet. The author definitely has her facts correct that it was designed for stars to travel cross country on a train in order to help raise money for the Army and Navy Relief Society. This really fascinated me and I liked learning which stars were on board the train. It must have been a great time and for a good cause while the stars traveled from city to city.
I liked how the author incorporated the caravan in her story where Audra joins to help deal with the stars. One star in particular caught her attention because he knew her sister. Robert Garfield was a star who many admired and he had a connection to Audra’s sister. I wonder how long it will take for Audra to figure out exactly what Rosemary did in Hollywood? Perhaps a little black book will have answers. I’m not sure Audra knew what she was getting herself into, but she was determined to find answers about her sister.
The only way I can describe the train as it traveled to each city was chaos. Stars who thought they were better than others were always stirring up trouble. Audra was completely out of her element and I wasn’t sure that her motive for being there made me want to root for her. She gives up a chance to try her first case before the court and decides not to attend her sister’s funeral just so she can play junior detective. I didn’t really like her much and felt her character was hard to believe.
What I did find refreshing was that Robert was a Christian and made sure that Audra knew it. She had started having suspicions about him but he made it perfectly clear that “he submits every decision to Christ’s authority.” I loved that he was passionate about God and tried to reassure Audra that he had nothing to do with what happened to her sister.
The action does pick up at the end when another tragedy happens on the train. Audra is not sure who to trust anymore and begins to wonder why bad things keep happening around her. The story does have a good faith element which made me like Robert so much. The mystery was good and even though I wasn’t surprised at the outcome it was still a nice story.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.