Review of The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

 

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Anyone who knows me understands that I love both historical and contemporary romance stories, and guess what? The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck has both! Ms. Hauck is masterful at creating novels that combine both genres. Seriously, folks. It hurts my brain to think of all the plotting that she must’ve done to make this story flow-y and flawless. And who doesn’t love twice the romance a dual story has to offer?

Here’s the blurb about the book:

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

My take:

I honestly don’t know where to start about this story. First, let me say…I loved it! There were moments of laughter and sadness. It was a tale of dreams lost and gained.

Historical elements:

I love the Gilded Age. It’s a part of American history that’s unique from all other eras. The “class system” is still very much observed. Money. Prestige. And society placement. I experienced Birdie’s frustration with being manipulated by her mother and her struggle to find happiness in such a shallow environment. I rallied for her to follow her aspirations and not to close her heart to love. Not only was the historical scenes inspiring but also the blossoming romance shared between the characters was endearing to read.

Contemporary elements:

Tenley hooked me from the first few pages. She’s at the top of the literary world, so to speak, yet her heart’s empty. My own heart ached for her to get a glimpse of what her soul truly craved – redemption. And as a writer, I totally sympathized with Tenley’s writing block. Oh yes, sometimes the struggle is real. I was surprised by how much I loved Jonah’s character. He impressed me with his honorable and godly behavior. I could gush and gush about the vivid scenes with Tenley and Jonah, but I don’t want to give anything away 😉

The Writing Desk whispered to me through the pages of residual grace. Of His faithfulness to hold our hands as we reach for our dreams, but also of His steadfast presence when our desires slip through our fingers.

This truly is a must-read. The Writing Desk is set to release July 11th. Click here to get the special preorder price!

B1F6kf8zKYS._SY200_.jpgAbout the author:

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at rachelhauck.com Facebook: rachelhauck Twitter: @RachelHauck

*I was provided a copy through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Now you tell me – what’s on your reading list for the summer?

 

The Day She Said. . . I Do

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The serious threat of catching her hair ablaze caused Rachel’s heart to belly-flop into her stomach. The flames of four candelabras winked at her from both sides of the aisle, as if daring her to proceed. If it hadn’t been for the mid-June humidity declaring war on her loosened curls, she would have never agreed to douse her head with a bottle of Aussie hairspray making her a walking fire accelerant. And the realization that over a hundred pairs of eyes were pinned on her every move added to the struggle.

But proceed she must.

With her chin lifted, she straightened her shoulders without the slightest regard for her pounding pulse. After a couple of hitched breaths and strategically placed steps, she’d cleared the blazing boogers with ease. Not even a spark. Now to conquer the rest of the aisle.

Left foot. Right foot. Trying to keep in time with the Wedding March was a lot simpler yesterday in her flip-flops. Who on earth convinced her to wear four-inch heels? And why was the ivory runner so rumpled? Never mind. She could do this.

Her layered gown swooshed with each confident stride. A few sniffles and sighs floated by her ears. And she was pretty sure the repetitive honking sound was someone blowing their nose and not a goose trapped beneath a pew.

Though she had to confess, those minor distractions on her trek down the aisle were nothing compared to the mountainous troubles she’d faced on the actual journey which led her here. During various times, her adversaries may have thought they’d been discreet, but she’d heard the exaggerated whispers and caught the condescending glances.

She’s too young to marry.

She never had a real boyfriend before him. The sad girl doesn’t even know what love is.

That marriage won’t last.

It wasn’t that she had the vengeance to prove them wrong, but rather the desire to prove herself right. That despite her being nineteen, she could discern her own heart. Judge her own aspirations. They hadn’t known she’d guarded her heart, her purity, with a dedication only God could give. They also hadn’t known the man who was about to give her his name, one who’d champion her in any arena of life. The feathery touch of God’s presence coursed through her, reassuring. Like the many times over this past year. God was with her. He made her strong. And the church brimmed with more well-wishers than naysayers.

Hands holding white and pale pink roses dangled in the aisle. Hands that belonged to people who had made a mark on her heart. She continued down the path to her future, collecting the flowers from family and friends. It meant more to her than holding a stiff bridal bouquet, for she clutched memories.

Then…the world stopped. Well, not really. But to her, the moment he came in view, her surroundings faded. Now, it was the way it should be. Just him and her. Scott and Rachel.

Gracious, the way he filled that Italian suit sent shivers right past her “something blue” garter all the way to her pinched toes. His bronze-colored eyes held a watery sheen, his intense gaze pouring into her, quieting the anxious corners of her soul.

While the preacher procured the communion elements, Scott leaned toward her, his lips brushing her ear. “Rachy…you’re stunning.”

Why, oh why hadn’t she worn waterproof mascara? Her face would resemble a zebra soon. A good look for a children’s theme party, but not her wedding.

“No tears, Fuzzhead.” A delicious smile played on his lips. Fuzzhead, his nickname for her when she was fourteen. Goodness, had six years really passed? Six years of drawing hearts around his name. Six years of dreaming for this day to come. This day. She bit her lip, tasting the grit of her lipstick.

The preacher returned and handed them the bread and juice. Gazing at the divine remembrances in her palm, she comprehended what had eluded her for several years. Communion was deeper than a formality. Stronger than a churchy ritual. And right now, bigger than a poofy dress and fancy hair. It was about Him—Jesus. How He’d surrendered His life for the church. His bride. To cleanse her. To beautify her. To make her who she was destined to be by the forfeit of His life. That was love. Devotion. Sacrifice.

Lord, help me see. Let our marriage be worthy of Your shed blood. For You to be our focus.

In unison, they partook of the Lord’s Supper. Scott wove his fingers into hers, an intimate familiarity that would never grow old. The warmth of his grip melted her heart. She smiled at him— the first man to hold her hand, to tell her she was beautiful. The only man to say those coveted words—I love you.

A peace settled in the depths of her being. It didn’t matter what difficulty they would face over the years to come. Fear had no hold on her. A lifetime of love and unspeakable joy stretched before her. She lifted her lashes, setting her sights on the wooden cross above the baptismal. Today she said I do, and it meant forever.

 

 

Roseanna White’s A Song Unheard Cover Reveal

So it’s a common thing around here to see book reviews for the latest releases in Christian fiction, but today we’re doing something new. A cover reveal! Author Roseanna White’s second book in the Shadow Over England series, A Song Unheard, is scheduled to release January 2, 2018. (That date seems soooo far away, but thankfully book one A Name Unknown releases in less than a month)

About A Song Unheard

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

 

My Thoughts

Being the music enthusiast that I am, I’m excited about this story! And let’s not forget the mystery sure to rouse our intrigue. Codes? How cool is that? There’s bound to be fun, danger, and my personal favorite ROMANCE parading about the pages. But what I love about Roseanna’s stories is the element of faith woven throughout that always leaves me spiritually refreshed.

Okay, hopefully your appetite is whet because without further ado. . .

 

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Isn’t Willa gorgeous? And that dress! So dear reader, if you’re sold that this story is definitely worth looking into, here’s the link for preorder.

https://www.amazon.com/Song-Unheard-Shadows-Over-England/dp/0764219278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496689880&sr=8-1&keywords=a+song+unheard+roseanna+white

Or check it out on Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35069089-a-song-unheard?ac=1&from_search=true

About the Author

RoseannaJuly2016.jpgRoseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring.
Being educated at St. John’s Collete (the Great Books School) taught Roseanna to ask questions, to value conversation, and to never accept the simple answer without exploring it for herself. She and her family make their home in the mountains of West Virginia where she and her husband both grew up. Roseanna is a member of ACFW, a frequent speaker at writers events and also small groups of readers, and an unabashed email addict.

You can contact Roseanna on her website , Facebook, or Twitter

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this cover! Comment below about this story or what you consider is most important in a cover.