Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

Watch for Chat With Vera's review!

About the book: He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life
When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

About the Author: Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling author and ACFW Carol Award winner, and has been a Romantic Times top pick for her previous books. She loves Jesus, history, romance, and watching sports. This transplanted Kansan now makes her home in Rochester, Minnesota.

Learn more about Erica at or find her on Facebook.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions in the review posted here are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway is hosted by publicist and author and they will determine the winner and send prize/s to winner.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships #3) by Jody Hedlund

My thoughts:
Jody Hedlund's books have never disappointed me and Bride of Convenience again proves her mete as a fantastic author.

The series of the Bride Ships opens one's eyes to the destitute and forlorn state of women during this period of history that drove them to board one of the Bride Ships to sail for the British colony in what is now Canada. A world unknown to them but those chose this alternative to a world that was a cesspit of evil that existed for the in England.

Over seen by a British missionary group, the women were selected and sent to become brides to miners and settlers and grow the colony.

In a sense all the brides on the ships were brides of convenience, but this final story drove home the Bride of Convenience story of local Pastor Abe Merivale when Zoe becomes his bride. 

It is truly a convenience as the church disapproves of his union with Zoe and her (and his) adoption of a half-breed infant. The native Indian mother of the infant had died and her English husband was simply not capable of caring for an infant - though he loved the infant and its deceased mother.

Characters richly drawn with the pen of the author roam the pages and the reader will root for them, boo them and their escapades, and grow to love them. 

I highly recommend this entire series. Each is a stand alone book, but much can be learned and enjoyed by reading them in sequence.

About the book: As the third and final book in a series, 

Upon discovering an abandoned baby, Pastor Abe Merivale joins efforts with Zoe Hart, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Abe offers his hand as Zoe's groom. But after a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity & Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom - Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity: A Tale of the Genius Ramanujan by Amy Alznauer & illustrated by Daniel Miyares

My thoughts:  Conveying to young readers (or listeners) math conceptions and understanding in the least how a genius mind works visualizing unknown theoretical thinking is beyond my own comprehension. The story of Ramanujan reads like one of a boy who thinks in ways he does not understand nor do those adults in his environ. 

As it is today, so was it then...... often the highly intellectual are perceived as non-thinking non-conformists and who don't really fit into the scheme of things.

Ramanujan went through regular school and high school and entered university from which he left because he didn't get it right. But he continued to record his thoughts and these were pages and journals of numerical scribbling that no one understood. He sought to understand what small was and what large or biggest  is. He wondered about infinity though I am not sure he even was aware of this concept.

Some children will enjoy having this book read to them, but parents or teachers will need to lay some ground work and be ready to come up with an "infinity" of answers.

About the book: A young mathematical genius from India searches for the secrets hidden inside numbers -- and for someone who understands him -- in this gorgeous picture-book biography.

A mango . . . is just one thing. But if I chop it in two, then chop the half in two, and keep on chopping, I get more and more bits, on and on, endlessly, to an infinity I could never ever reach.

In 1887 in India, a boy named Ramanujan is born with a passion for numbers. He sees numbers in the squares of light pricking his thatched roof and in the beasts dancing on the temple tower. He writes mathematics with his finger in the sand, across the pages of his notebooks, and with chalk on the temple floor. "What is small?" he wonders. "What is big?" Head in the clouds, Ramanujan struggles in school -- but his mother knows that her son and his ideas have a purpose. As he grows up, Ramanujan reinvents much of modern mathematics, but where in the world could he find someone to understand what he has conceived?

Author Amy Alznauer gently introduces young readers to math concepts while Daniel Miyares's illustrations bring the wonder of Ramanujan's world to life in the inspiring real-life story of a boy who changed mathematics and science forever. Back matter includes a bibliography and an author's note recounting more of Ramanujan's life and accomplishments, as well as the author's father's remarkable discovery of Ramanujan's Lost Notebook.

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by  Michele Wood  

My thoughts:  I found it interesting that the author uses the number "6" in an interesting manner throughout the story and stanzas. The book opens with a six-word poem titled "Geometry." The poem is printed as a large numerical 6.

A box has six sides and is a cubic structure. The stanzas have six lines (these are non-rhyming lines of text). The author has also positioned a clear-cut timeline of slavery from 1815, the year in which Henry Brown was born, to 1897, the year in which he died though these are not the inclusive years of slavery - just the years that the slave, Henry Brown, lived.

This is a true story of a real person and his life.

Illustrated in a style that utilizes lots of squares and boxes in various sizes. This is, I feel certain, to subconsciously direct the mind to the fact that to escape slavery Henry Brown built a box and shipped himself away from slavery to a free state.

The story is deeply moving and brings to the reader's attention the desperate and dire circumstances of slaves. 

About the Book: In a moving, lyrical tale about the cost and fragility of freedom, a New York Times best-selling author and an acclaimed artist follow the life of a man who courageously shipped himself out of slavery.

What have I to fear?
My master broke every promise to me.
I lost my beloved wife and our dear children.
All, sold South. Neither my time nor my body is mine.
The breath of life is all I have to lose.
And bondage is suffocating me.

Henry Brown wrote that long before he came to be known as Box, he "entered the world a slave." He was put to work as a child and passed down from one generation to the next -- as property. When he was an adult, his wife and children were sold away from him out of spite. Henry Brown watched as his family left bound in chains, headed to the deeper South. What more could be taken from him? But then hope -- and help -- came in the form of the Underground Railroad. Escape!

In stanzas of six lines each, each line representing one side of a box, celebrated poet Carole Boston Weatherford powerfully narrates Henry Brown's story of how he came to send himself in a box from slavery to freedom. Strikingly illustrated in rich hues and patterns by artist Michele Wood, Box is augmented with historical records and an introductory excerpt from Henry's own writing as well as a time line, notes from the author and illustrator, and a bibliography.

Begins August 1
Ends August 29 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses.
No P.O. Boxes & Canadian winners must provide phone number.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.