Book Recommendation: Veiled at Midnight by Christine Lindsay

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Book Description

The British empire draws to an end…
but the turmoil has only just begun.

The Partition of India has sent millions to the roads, instigated riots as uncontrolled as wildfire…and caught up in its wake Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah. Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since they played together at the mission as children. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he? For a while, Dassah believes that Cam loves her. But as the impossibility of a future with him becomes clear, what choice does she have but to run? He may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again. Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, and as British forces prepare to leave India, she struggles. She finds purpose in teaching, in helping…but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soul mate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

Narelle: I had the privilege of reading an advanced reader copy of Veiled at Midnight for endorsement. I loved Veiled at Midnight and the two earlier books in the Twilight of the British Raj series, Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight. 

A beautiful and heartbreaking story of love and hope during the turbulent political and religious upheaval of post-WWII India. Highly recommended!

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

Friday Weekend Escape to South-Eastern Finland with Marion Ueckermann

SUMMER COTTAGE VACATION

by Marion Ueckermann

Narelle, it’s so good to be back on your blog again and I’m excited to whisk your readers away for the weekend (and on my subsequent two blogs) to the southern part of Finland, not that far from the Russian border.

My husband, Noel, and I were privileged to take kesämökki (vacation at summer home) after my son, Kyle’s wedding in Finland in 2012. While Kyle, and his bride, Tiia, were on honeymoon, we spent ten days with new friends at their summer cottage beside a lake. Joining us were eleven of the bride and groom’s friends from missionary training who had come from all over the world—South Africa, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, England, Canada and the USA—to Finland for the wedding.

Noel loves to go fishing and had a great time on the lake catching Pike. Once he knew that the smaller fish were a Finnish delicacy, he had an excuse for catching them. Mimi from France insisted on ‘olding the Pike (she couldn’t pronounce her H’s which we thought was really cute), while fellow South African, Christo, thought the little fish were really fun.

Summer cottage fishing

Being about a twenty or thirty kilometer drive to the nearest town, Savonlinna, the summer cottage felt like it was situated in the middle of nowhere. We came to discover Savonlinna to be a quaint and interesting town, having visited the hotel for internet, shops, the castle, church (run by a British pastor and his Finnish wife), and the hospital (yes, we got to try out Finnish medical care when one of the girls fell and badly sprained her ankle.)

We have so many fond memories:

  • the summer cottage the youth stayed in and where we had all our meals down by the lake
  • the sauna hidden in the trees that we all crammed into before running our heated bodies down the hill and into the cold lake
  • the deck where we fished, read books, had quiet times, and breakfasted together
  • and the cottage Noel and I stayed in, about a hundred meter walk through the forest or a five minute row on the lake to get to it (and on which I modelled the cottage in my novelette, Helsinki Sunrise).

Summer Cottage collage

The drive into Savonlinna was on long tree-lined roads (just like everywhere else in Finland).

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On one such road, we found this crazy bus stop. It tickled us no end, and Noel just had to try it out. I can imagine that some old man or lady who got tired of standing while waiting for the bus and so placed the chair there for their comfort.

Savonlinna bus stops

Another part of Finnish life and culture are the Kirpputori, or Kirpes for short. We’d know them as second-hand shops. We spent hours hopping from one to the next, finding the most amazing bargains. They carry mostly clothing, but also household knick-knacks, too. I bought myself a long woolen coat, made in England, for 5 Euro. I doubt it had been worn more than half a dozen times, if that, and I’d estimate it would be worth around 200 Euro. Don’t you just love it when you find a bargain? It certainly is going to be very useful when we go to Finland and Hungary in December.

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These were the midnight sunsets that bade us goodnight during our Finnish summer cottage vacation. I do miss them and hope I get to experience them again one day.

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On November 21st I’ll take your readers to explore the town of Savonlinna, the Ovanlinna castle and the annual Opera festival. It was all so fascinating.

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He needed the island to himself. So did she.

Three weeks alone at a friend’s summer cottage on a Finnish lake to fast and pray. That was Adam Carter’s plan. But sometimes plans go awry.

On an impromptu trip to her family’s secluded summer cottage, the last thing Eveliina Mikkola expected to find was a missionary from the other side of the world—in her sauna.

Determined to stay, Eveliina will do whatever it takes—from shortcrust pastry to shorts—to send the man of God packing. This island’s too small for them both.

Adam Carter, however, is not about to leave.

Will he be able to resist her temptations?

Can she withstand his prayers?

 

Helsinki Sunrise is available to purchase from Pelican Book Group, Christianbook.com, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

Watch the Helsinki Sunrise book trailer on YouTube.

Watch the Passport to Romance book trailer on YouTube.

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Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter (Tyndale House Publishers), Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novelette, Helsinki Sunrise (White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport to Romance series). Her second Passport to Romance, Oslo Overtures, will be published in 2015.

Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

Connect with Marion Ueckermann:

Website / Amazon / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Blogs: A Pebble in my Pocket / Foreign Affaire

Permission to use images obtained.

Friday Weekend Escape to Tuscany with Elaine Fraser

Today we’re escaping for the weekend with my author friend, Elaine Fraser, to the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy. Elaine is sharing her holiday and writing retreat in a Tuscan villa. Enjoy!

The Art of Writing Tuscan Retreat

By Elaine Fraser

Imagine sitting on the terrace of a Tuscan villa in the Casentino region, surrounded by fascinating people from around the world who all have stories to write. The food is Kilometre Zero —sourced from local producers, along with the red wine.

You are there to spend a week developing your writing project and being inspired by great tutors. You’re in heaven!

Sometimes you have to climb out of your comfort zone, fly to the other side of the world and take a step of faith.

I found The Art of Writing through Lisa Clifford’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Clifford/313345380986?fref=ts Because of the beautiful photos of Tuscany I was led to discover Lisa’s books and the writing retreat she has created.

I decided to sign up, take the plunge and join the retreat.

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The Art of Writing is an opportunity for writers at all stages of development to gather and move their project on—whether it’s a memoir, short story, blogging or a novel. The retreat is located at the Borgo Caiano in the Casentino region. http://www.borgocaiano.com

Our hosts Ombretta and Roberto Stoppioni are very welcoming and you feel very at home. They cooked traditional dishes made with simplicity and authenticity for us.


Food

Located in eastern Tuscany, Casentino is in the upper Arno valley and is fifty minutes from Florence and fifty minutes from Arezzo.

Casentino has a rich literary and historic heritage. Dante was inspired to write parts of his Divine Comedy in this region and it is said that St Francis of Assisi received his stigmata here. It’s a land of castles, medieval monasteries and sanctuaries.

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We had our own private apartment, complete with living room, worktable and Wi-Fi inside and on our own terrace. Walks around the property and area were lovely.

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The sunflowers were out and the rolling hills had that distinctive olive green haze that we associate with Tuscany.

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On Wednesday we had an outing to visit Castello Di Porciano where we met the owner Martha Specht Corsi, the daughter of George and Flaminia Specht, who restored the castle. You can actually book the apartment out at the top of the castle or a cottage on the grounds‑very romantic!

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Later in the day we visited Lorenzo Cipriani’s farm where we milked sheep. Lorenzo and his family then made ricotta and pecorino. The family then treated us to a Tuscan feast with the fresh cooked ricotta, some aged pecorino, prosciutto, salami and the most amazing tomatoes we had ever eaten—picked from their garden.

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From a writing point of view, there were morning lectures on writing, individual coaching sessions in the afternoon and guest speakers in the evening.

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Our tutors were generous and encouraging. Lisa Clifford, Jane Corry and Conrad Williams are successful authors who gave practical insight, and help, to each one of us.

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Each of the participants had fascinating life stories and discussions around the meal tables were full of laughter and deep conversation. From England, Dubai, Australia, the USA and Italy it was a mix of culture and experience that was uniquely cohesive. Lifetime friendships were birthed in this group.

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This was one of the best weeks I have had in terms of both work and travel. Tuscany is inspiring and beautiful. For a feast of the senses and warm hospitality, you can’t beat it.

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About Elaine:

Elaine Fraser, author of ‘the Beautiful books’, is from Perth, Western Australia. For many years she taught English and Drama in secondary schools.

Although Elaine is best known for her non-fiction work: Beautiful: beauty tips for the soul and Too Beautiful: more beauty tips for the soul, she has branched out into fiction.

Perfect Mercy, Book #1 in the Beautiful Lives series was released in 2012.

Book #2 Love, Justice was released 2014, and Book #3 Amazing Grace is in the works.

‘I try to write books that are honest, concerned with real lives and real issues with a spiritual edge. My books are contemporary, don’t always have the perfect ending, but always have hope. For example, Mercy Hamilton, the central character in Perfect Mercy, finds out that life isn’t always perfect.’

Then, she looked up to heaven and thanked God from the bottom of her heart for where she was at that moment. She didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, but at this minute, in this place, she was thankful.

Travel is an important part of Elaine’s life and she spends up to three months of the year away from home.

‘People say I have the dream life. I get to do what I love – write, study, travel, mentor writers and enjoy living in one of the best cities in the world with my wonderful husband, young adult children and golden retriever, Bear,’ Elaine says.

‘I agree with Marc Anthony when he said, If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’

Elaine’s latest book Love, Justice can be purchased online at: http://www.amazon.com.au/Love-Justice-Beautiful-Lives-Series-ebook/dp/B00N4YI9Y8 or at Koorong Books

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Find out more here: http://www.elainefraser.co/books/

Friday Weekend Escape to the Adelaide Hills, South Australia with Paula Vince

Today we’re escaping for the weekend with my author friend, Paula Vince, to South Australia. Paula is giving us a tour of the beautiful Adelaide Hills in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Enjoy!

By Paula Vince

It’s a pleasure to welcome people to my lovely part of the state of South Australia. The Adelaide Hills are part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, situated east of the city of Adelaide. It is one of the first areas to be settled by European settlers, probably because it is such a lush place for crops and gardens. Towns such as Hahndorf and Lobethal were founded by Germans who wished to escape religious persecution in their own country in the mid 1800s. Several of these settlers were my ancestors.

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The town of Hahndorf is just a drive down the road for us, and it is full of buildings such as this old sweet shop. I have ancestors buried in the old church cemetery. My grandma was born in what is now an art academy, when it was still a maternity hospital in 1918. My daughter currently has art lessons there.

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The scenery along this road is typical of the countryside around the corner from where we live. When I describe the local settings of my novels, I always say that we enjoy four distinct seasons. (Actually, we sometimes suffer them, when the weather is extreme either way, but I don’t mention that.) The colours change all the time.

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In winter and spring, it’s easy to find creeks and waterfalls to hike alongside. It’s hard to believe they often completely dry up in our scorching hot summers. Between December and February, it’s not uncommon for us to have heatwaves of ten days or more with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius.

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One of my favourite parts of living in the Adelaide Hills is that we don’t have to go far to find a great view. You can tell the exact spot where the city ends and the beauty of the Adelaide Hills begins. It’s right at the bottom of the South Eastern Freeway, when we suddenly find ourselves driving uphill with cliffs on either side.

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The Hills are saturated with history. We accidentally discovered this old chimney when we were out walking recently, along with the foundation of the house it was part of.

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Finally, here is my younger son along one of the many walking trails in the Hills toward the end of winter. We thought this puddle looked just like a map of the whole of Australia. I hope you enjoyed this tour with me.

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PAULA VINCE is a South Australian author of contemporary, inspirational fiction. She lives in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, with its four distinct seasons, and loves to use her environment as settings for her stories. Her novel, ‘Picking up the Pieces’ won the religious fiction section of the International Book Awards in 2011, and ‘Best Forgotten’ was winner of the CALEB prize the same year. She is also one of the four authors of ‘The Greenfield Legacy’, Australia’s first and only collaborated Christian novel. Her most recent novel, ‘Imogen’s Chance’ was published April 2014. For more of Paula’s reflections, please visit her blog, It Just Occurred to Me. You may also like to visit her book review blog, The Vince Review where she also interviews other authors.

You may also connect with Paula through the following.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Vince/112910232067021
Twitter @PaulaVince1
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1111331.Paula_Vince

Her books are sold through the following outlets.
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Paula-Vince/e/B0070PKTAY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1411963117&sr=8-1
Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=Paula+Vince&x=32&y=14&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=allproducts&keyword=Paula+Vince

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Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter. A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?

Heartsong Presents October New Releases

My third fiction book release with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line, The Doctor’s Return, was released in August 2014. Today I’m posting information on the new Heartsong Presents releases for October.

Four Heartsong Presents books are released each month under the Love Inspired brand: two contemporary inspirational romances and two historical inspirational romances. The Love Inspired range of books include contemporary romance (Love Inspired), historical romance (Love Inspired Historical) and romantic suspense (Love Inspired Suspense).

North American readers can purchase books from the Harlequin Reader Service. International readers outside the USA and Canada can purchase the print books online from Amazon and The Book Depository (free international shipping). If you’re looking for inspirational (Christian) romances to read, please check out the Heartsong Presents and Love Inspired books.

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Holly Miller Is Steering Clear of Mistletoe 

Just out of nursing school, Holly can’t risk any distractions. She knows a slipup could cost a life. Like the mistake she made years ago that still plagues her conscience. When she runs into old high school friend Matthew Cook, she hesitates to let romance into her life. Even if the handsome baker is as delectable as his fabulous pastries.

She didn’t notice him back in high school, but things have sure changed. Now that Matthew has Holly’s attention, maybe the holiday season is the perfect time for him to show her that she deserves to have it all—work, family, friends and a love that lasts a lifetime.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

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Tasha Henderson Can’t Afford Romance 

Tasha sacrificed everything to start her custom doll business, and she’s depending on holiday sales to keep her afloat. But when Dr. Philip Strathorn orders a special Christmas gift for his adorable daughter, Tasha finds herself thinking more about the handsome single dad than the bottom line.

Widower Philip never expected to find love again. As he spends time with the lovely artist, he finds comfort and hope for the future for both himself and his little girl. But his practice is in Denver, and Tasha lives in Montana. The holiday season could bring them together—if Tasha gets her Christmas wish.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

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Joe Huntington Is Finally Home 

After long years away at war, Joe is determined to start his life anew. But it isn’t easy. Settling into his Michigan hometown at last, he doesn’t expect to come face-to-face with the girl who got away—and is still holding a grudge.

Feisty dance teacher Victoria Banks has always stood on her own two feet. But everyone needs help sometimes. It’s tempting to share her joys and troubles with a war hero who would like nothing more than to cherish her. But can she let go of the past…and take a second chance on love?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com

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Stagecoach Driver Adam Clark Is Used to Surprises 

But he never thought he’d find his childhood friend Amanda Ross applying for a dangerous driver’s job. Now Adam’s “little bundle of dynamite” is all grown up…and sparking feelings that are anything but brotherly. If he can’t talk her out of her crazy scheme to assert her independence, he’ll just have to protect her.

Amanda’s fiery personality dwarfs her small stature, but their journey westward tests even her indomitable spirit. And she learns she can trust Adam to keep her safe in the swirl of danger that surrounds them. Can these two old friends survive a treacherous trip…and open their hearts to one another before it’s too late?

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Read a FREE sample at Amazon.com