Thursday, January 27, 2022

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

My thoughts:
  The setting for this grand read takes this reader very close to my home roots - Coastal North Carolina. While a tad further up the coastline, the island and cities or villages of Virginia are much the same as my North Carolina beaches and historical city of Wilmington. So I felt very much at home in A Heart Adrift.

Having actually visited historic Williamsburg Virginia and walked the streets reconstructed to very much resemble the 1700s when Esmee lived and ran her chocolate shop, I can experience mentally her life during those uncertain times.

Having spent many days on the beach and living through raging hurricanes and seeing first-hand the terrible destruction they can cause, I can imagine how horrific it must have been when the tumultuous storm swept over their lighthouse island.

Historically, the time was ripe with breeding a strong continental backbone of naval and authority figures that would play major roles in American Independence soon to come though that was not afoot during this book. Seafaring, privateering, treasures were the order of the day during this time period; and A Heart Adrift had it characters cast into major roles of those that go to sea and those who stand and wait.

I totally enjoyed reading A Heart Adrift, and it proves again that a book by Laura Frantz is worth the wait. I highly recommend.

About the book: It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmee Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she's never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmee. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Will a war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril--on the sea and in the heart--in this redemptive, romantic story.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Good Morning, Little One: New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day by Amy Kavelaris

Ages 4 - 8 | Hardcover $17.99
Tommy Nelson Pub.

My thoughts:
Absolutely gorgeous! I loved the companion book by Amy Kavelaris when I had the opportunity to review it - Good Night, My Darling Dear. This latest release continues with a morning book - Good Morning, Little One.

These books are definitely keepsake quality that you don't want to miss. I encourage your to purchase both for your little one or for gifting to bless a sweet child.

The illustrations are stunning, sweet, charming. They gently engage the child to pay attention and enjoy the beauty of the message in the rhymes as well as the cute bunnies, lambs, puppies.

Being prayed over morning and evening is a true blessing. And in this little book the child will learn that God is ever watching over and caring for the child throughout the day, no matter what.

I highly recommend.

Check it out/buy it: Click here to check out the book and buy it.  You may also get a free activity guide!

About the book: Reassure kids that God is carrying them throughout the day with these morning affirmations and whimsical illustrations from beloved author Amy Kavelaris. Adorable animals with gorgeous floral art and words of hope remind little ones of God's love, security, and peace for the day ahead.

Through a child’s eyes, the world can be beautiful, wonder-filled, and a bit fear-filled all at the same time. Remind your little one that God is always near with this unique book of blessings. A beautiful companion to Amy Kavelaris’s popular Good Night, My Darling Dear, this inspirational picture book

  • reassures children ages 4 to 8 that God carries them through good days, hard days, and anxious days
  • shares biblical promises of God's love, purpose, and protection
  • features the whimsical imagery of nature and animals that has made Kavelaris’s art beloved
  • encourages kids to discover God each day and joyfully live out who He created them to be
  • gives children confidence to be brave in scary and unexpected situations

This unique book of blessings and prayers will remind your little one of God’s loving promises revealed in nature: that He protects us from the rain, He covers us with His wings, He shines His light into the darkness, and most of all, He’ll always be with us. Good Morning, Little One by artist Amy Kavelaris

  • includes a stunning cover with a jacket over hardcover
  • makes a touching keepsake gift book for a child's Easter basket, baby showers, and other new beginnings such as adoption, a new sibling, or the first day of school
  • is an enchanting piece of art for a botanical nursery or child's bedroom
  • is ideal for any parent, grandparent, or family who wants to establish a tradition of blessing their child in the morning

There's no better way to start the day than praying over your children with this sweet, Scripture-based book about trusting God to carry each of you in His gentle arms.

About the author: 
Amy (Kavs) Kavelaris work can be spotted in Target, Walmart, Anthropologie, Altar'd State, and Better Homes & Gardens, as well as in homes around the globe. She has collaborated with countless brands, including Skechers Shoes and Pampers, and served as a judge for the Miss America Foundation. Amy's impressionistic, painting style invites her viewers into a charming, and delightfully whimsical experience. Amy and her husband live in the Midwest with their three small girls. See her art at and @amykavs on Instagram.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Show your Valentine some gentle loveliness from the coffers of Good Earth Beauty Exclusives [Review & Giveaway]


Valentine's Day is right around the corner. There are lots of ways to show you care. You can send a card, give chocolates, give flowers, or give girly products such as the ones we're going to look at today from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives.


Begin by softening the atmosphere with a gentle burning candle wafting through the air . . .
& Use VERA10 for 10% off

Our all natural, soy based, slow burning candle will help you relax and enjoy the moment.  Soy based with natural fragrance and essential oils. Choose from a variety of scents.  Glass jar - 4 Ounces - Burn Time 20 Hours Made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty Price: $13.00

This one is Candy Hearts perfect Valentine’s Day gift to bring to hostess or for birthdays & events.

My thoughts: I have used several of these lovely candles from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives. I enjoy them and they bring a light ambience to the room that is comforting.

Free of:  parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors

Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Sunflower Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Organic, Evening Primrose Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Wildcrafted Arnica Montana, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative),  proprietary blend of natural fragrance oils


Use VERA10 for 10% off

My thoughts:
For yourself or your valentine, run a warm bath or shower using this luxurious body wash. Or you can opt to keep it at your kitchen or bath sink to enjoy every time you wash your hands. Both uses are a real treat for your senses and your skin. 

This scrumptious and foamy natural hand and body wash moisturizes and softens, while nourishing even the most sensitive of skin types. Infused with organic milk and nourishing honey, it cleanses and refreshes while being gentle enough to use every day. 

Scent Description: Candy Hearts is a fluffy blend of pink cotton candy, sugared lemon, tart orange and sweet cherry drops. Hints of creamy vanilla smooth out this adorable scent!

Free of:  parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors - 8 oz bottle, Made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty Price: $18.00

Ingredients: Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Vera, Cocomidopropyl Betaine (from coconuts), Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), Cocomide DEA (from coconuts), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot Kernel Oil), Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Organic Chamomile, Coconut Milk, Mel (Honey), Carica Papaya (Papaya Enzymes), Organic Resina Propoli (Propolis), Royal Jelly, Glycerin, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative). 


& Use VERA10 for 10% off

My thoughts: 
I have used and gifted lots of these lovely lip balms for the past several years. I especially enjoy bringing a bit of joy to a bedridden lady so she can slather it over her lips. But my teenage granddaughters love it, too. So top off your valentine's gift with this lovely Candy Hearts Lip Balm. 

Having a party? Be sure you buy lots of these for party favors! Truly a winning item!

Vegan - natural -  soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips. A variety of flavors from which to choose! Made by Good Earth Beauty Price: $6.25

Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, olive oil, avocado butter, candellia wax, vitamin E, natural flavor oil

Can't wait to see if you're a winner?
Go ahead and buy for yourself, your valentine, or a friend.
Use discount code VERA10 for a 10% discount. 
FREE SHIPPING for all USA orders!

Win 1 Hand/Body Wash & 1 Lip Balm
Begins January 23
Ends February 15 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by or its publicist.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

One Million Oysters on Top of the Mountain by Alex Nogués, Miren Asiain Lora & illustrated by Lawrence Schimel

My thoughts:  An interesting introduction to geology and a good addition to libraries that wish to expand their Earth science material.

An easy to read (for middle schoolers) treatise in short paragraphs and step by step information introducing the reader to an understanding of "old Earth" concept of geology. Though published by a Christian publishing house, Biblical Creation  and world wide flood concepts are shunned. The concept of Earth's being millions of years old is presented.

The reader can easily understand the explanation of layering of the strata and how fossils are deposited in these and the geological system of identifying.

I found the book interesting. I did think that the type was too small especially on the pages such as "Naming the History of the Earth." Again, I really enjoyed the presentation of information. The writer takes the reader on a detailed oriented "walk" that focuses on paying attention to the details and then thinking them through.

A good resource for school libraries.  

About the book: Come closer and look at these rocks: they’re not normal stones at all! They’re thousands and thousands of mollusks, fossilized together in the sediment. But how did a million oysters ever land on top of a mountain? 

Written by a geologist, this inquisitive journey guides readers through the movements of seas, strata, and tectonic plates. The landscapes of the present can be clues to events in the past. Lush, atmospheric illustrations offer fascinating details to discover, and sidebars and an extensive glossary provide intriguing connections to marine biology and scientific history. 

A compelling introduction to earth science, this book will encourage readers to ask questions, think critically, and embrace their curiosity about the natural world.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Cute socks, a worthy cause, warm feet all bring a bit of joy in my day

I was given the opportunity to review colorful socks from the Funny Squared Socks company. They have their own online presence (click here) as well as a shop on Amazon (click here).

It's cold outside today here in North Carolina; daytime is in mid 20's and evenings in the teens. So socks are pretty much a "must wear" item. I've got the fireplace going for some warm, snuggly, cozy reading and I'm wearing these colorful socks to brighten my day. We're expecting a bit of snow later so I expect we're in for a few days of cold weather.

These socks come in a variety of designs and you can get a one-pair package or multi-pair packages. I have the pair that benefits a worthy cause - rescue of animals from the Asian meat market. Read about it here. Note that these socks are limited editions.

If you look closely, the white "splotches" at center front represent a dog's ears, eyes, and nose/mouth. I think the thoughts that went into the design show caring and interesting. I think the colors are lovely and bespeak care and gentleness.

About these socks.... they are soft, snug fitting, stretchy, comfortable, colorful, fun to wear. I highly recommend them either in the limited edition socks that benefit a worthy cause or in the other colorful sets. My socks came in an individual box with information about the socks, a cute little bookmark magnet, a little plastic drawstring bag for sock storage or carrying. A nice little package that makes a great gift.

I wish you could touch them and feel the softness and the stretch. I think you'd be impressed just as much as I am.

DISCLOSURE: Socks were provided at no charge to me to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. No compensation was received for this post/review.

Monday, January 17, 2022

A touch of femininity with flower pins to usher in spring time. [Review & Giveaway]

Recently, ShopgalNY featured on her Instagram account a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a lovely fabric flower pin on her jacket lapel. Saying.....

"Did you know I have been selling these flowers all along? They come in 6 colors. Under $10 to get [the]  look. Just pin on the lapel of any jacket and voila!"

For just a few dollars you can be an in-the-know trend setter. Look at the assortment of colors ShopgalNY has on her Etsy Store.

Spruce up an old
favorite in your closet

DM on Instagram @ShopgalNY to purchase or head over to her Etsy store to shop. Must have accessory!

ShopgalNY has personally ❤️'d these pins and has been pinning on jackets for years. (Instagram:

While on the ShopgalNY Etsy Shop look around at all the unique items she has - Covid-19 protection masks, fun items for your pets, table and kitchen linens, etc. Your support of her small business means a lot to her.
2 Winners, each 1 Pin
Begins January 17
Ends February 14 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only
Pair with a silk scarf to usher in Spring

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by D.I.Widger (ShopgalNY). Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

#andjustlikethat #shopearly  #limitededitions #facemasks #fashion #thankyouforyoursupport #shopgalny #facemasks #fungifts #eyemask #shopgalnymasks #d.l.widger #holidayvibes #flowerpin #presents #fashionaccessory #happinessiscontagiousap #limitededition #wondereomanfacemask

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Bei Bei Goes Home & Africa, Amazing Africa Country by Country (Non-fiction from Candlewick & Walker Books) [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Bei Bei Goes Home

My thoughts:  Who doesn't love the rolly polly Panda with their adorable antics and loveable cuddle-some-ness? Yes, to see them is to love them. A baby panda was born in the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Named Bei Bei, he has been gifted back to China which is the area of the world to which Pandas are native.

All this plus the gestational process, birth, and development are presented in this informative non-fiction book. A well written and excellently illustrated book that tells the charming story of Bei Bei is intended for children ages 6 to 9 (grades 1-4). And it is certainly within the scope of readability and educational interest.

I would, however, encourage parents to read through it for themselves prior to purchasing for their personal collection or before checking out of a lending library to ascertain for themselves if it is appropriate for their child. Some parents might find talk of fertilized egg, mother's womb, uterine wall, fetus, etc. beyond the scope of information they wish to expose their child. At some point it is fine. That is a parental decision.

A terrific book about an adorable panda and a real plug for the need to be proactive in the preservation of endangered species.

About the book: 
Two nations and a mother panda work together to nurture a “precious treasure” in the remarkable true story of a celebrity panda cub and his life at the Smithsonian National Zoo—and beyond.

In August 2015, zookeepers at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, were thrilled to spot a tiny shadow on an ultrasound. For a species as rare as the giant panda, every new cub is cause for celebration. Zoo staff monitored mother Mei Xiang, and within days a newborn appeared, weighing in at just one third of a pound. While Mei Xiang cradled her vulnerable infant, zookeepers monitored the pair day and night through cameras in the panda den, and some two million viewers logged on to the zoo website. First Ladies Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan hosted a ceremony to announce the cub’s name: Bei Bei, meaning “precious treasure” in Mandarin Chinese. An instant celebrity, the cub captured hearts all over the world. But pandas in zoos are considered emissaries from the People’s Republic of China, the only country where they live in the wild. Four years after his birth in America, Bei Bei would embark on an important new mission.

Graphically arresting, packed with stunning full-color photographs, and vetted by the Smithsonian National Zoo, Bei Bei Goes Home paints a vivid picture of global conservation efforts—and international collaboration—in the guise of an ever-popular and beloved black-and-white ambassador. 

Africa, Amazing Africa Country by Country

My thoughts: 
This is an interesting book that children (and their parents) will enjoy meandering through. We (I mean myself and a lot of folks) tend to think of Africa as a country. But it isn't. Africa is a Continent comprised of 55 countries. Each distinct in its history and current culture.

As I wandered through Africa, Amazing Africa I gleaned a small bite of information on each country. So don't plan on research paper quality information. This is nibbles and tiny bites of information just great for ages 7 to 12. The pages are colorfully illustrated in a  somewhat primitive art style.

I found the information on religions in Africa interesting. Stating, "Christianity and Islam are the most popular organized religions in Africa, but there are traditional religions, too." Further, the author elaborated on Christianity and Islam spreading and building some of the oldest mosques and churches in the world. Africans took their traditional religions with them as enslaved Africans hundreds of years ago.

The book's information is divided into North, South, East, West, and Central Africa and the countries within those areas. Special information is provided on African Religions, African Hairstyles, and Football. Authored by Atinuke who is Nigerian-born one would expect the information to be accurate and reflect well on Africa past and current.

I think this book of special interest to children of African heritage and would provide a much needed look at the African continent to children everywhere.

About the book: Discover the amazing diversity of the African continent in this beautiful book, with words by Atinuke and lively illustrations from Mouni Feddag.

Atinuke’s first non-fiction title is a major publishing event: a celebration of all 55 countries on the African continent! Her beautifully-written text captures Africa’s unique mix of the modern and the traditional, as she explores its geography, its peoples, its animals, its history, its resources and its cultural diversity. The book divides Africa into five sections: South, East, West, Central and North, each with its own introduction. This is followed by a page per country, containing a delightful mix of friendly, informative text and colourful illustrations. The richest king, the tallest sand dunes and the biggest waterfall on the planet are all here, alongside drummers, cocoa growers, inventors, balancing stones, salt lakes, high-tech cities and nomads who use GPS! This is non-fiction at its most exciting, exhilarating and energetic, illustrated with passion and commitment by a great new talent, Mouni Feddag.

Both books to 2 winners
Begins January 16, 2022
Ends February 8, 2022
Open to USA/Canada
No P.O.Boxes | Canadian Phone Required
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies from the Candlewick Press to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Adorable children's books for winter snuggle reading time [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

Wild by Sam Usher

My thoughts: 
You know how you feel when you consciously think, "Now this is 'done right'!"? That's how I feel and think when I read books "done right" by Sam Usher. They are sweet. They are insightful. They are adorably illustrated. They quietly infuse relationships and personalities in a skillful and nudging manner. In short, "These are 'done right'!

So I'm happy to recommend the second in a quartet of the natural world wonders. This time Wild lets us get a glimpse into the quirky nature of cats. 

Not only do we see how the little boy tries to engage the cat in various manners, we get to see how he and his grandfather interact so flawlessly. A terrific look at a successful multi-generational relationship.

The illustrations are in true "Sam Usher" style using pen and ink and watercolor to flesh out this sweetly told story. Just a few words are needed, but that's fine because it is a picturebook. It is delightful for reading to young children, and perfect for those early readers who need just a few words at a time and lots of pictures. In short, it's a good book and one I can highly recommend.

About the book: The second title in a quartet of imaginative picture books in which a boy and his beloved granddad discover the wonder of the natural world

A boy and his granddad are taking care of someone’s cat for the day. The boy does lots of reading up about what cats like, but this cat doesn’t seem to like anything! And then it runs off into the wild, leading them to a jungle adventure of their own.

Dogs Love Cars by Leda Schubert & illustrated by Paul Meisel

My thoughts:  This delightful book completely captures the essence of joyful, exuberant dogs. As I read the book I could vividly visualize the bouncing, crouching, wiggling, jumping, leaping, tail wagging bundles of energy that is "dog." It doesn't seem to matter what type or breed, dogs just express themselves vibrantly.

The author captures the range of things that dogs love; and yes, we'll all agree. The illustrator enriches the pages with joyful critters that loveable, excitable, caress-able dogs are.

I highly recommend this book especially for the home where dogs abide. 

About the book: For dog people of all ages, a jubilant ode to our canines and the many things they love with wild abandon—especially you-know-who.

From the yard to the park, from school to the market, from one end of the day to the next, dogs are full of joy. Ears flapping out the car window! Tug-of-war rope toy! Sprawling out on the couch! Getting those “good dog” treats! Wherever they go, whatever they see, dogs love it all. But what do they love most? Guess! This delightfully chaotic book from Leda Schubert and Paul Meisel portrays dogs of all shapes and colors in a laugh-out-loud celebration of our very best friends.

Castle Gesundheit by Mark Fearing 

My thoughts:  We've all known someone who sneezes and coughs a lot, but this story takes the case of sneezing to the next level. The poor village (this is during Medieval times) next to Castle Gesundheit can't sleep because the Baron has such a robust sneeze that it keeps the villagers awake.

Then little Fiona decides she's going to do something about it. So into the castle she marches and finds the place over run with cats. After she chats a bit with the Baron, she declares his problem is an allergy to cats. Then she solves the problem.

A real cute book that addresses the need to avoid being around the source of one's allergy. A story about a little girl with a big idea and how she bravely goes about doing something big. A story about how one person's issue can be bothersome to those around him or her.

So other than a real cute book, there are some deeper plusses here - whether intentional by the author or not. 

About the book: The Baron Von Sneeze's coughing and sniffling is keeping the village of Handkerchief awake! Will Fiona be able to help him . . . and his many cats?

The poor villagers of Handkerchief! For as long as they can remember, the Baron Von Sneeze, who lives in Castle Gesundheit, has been sniffling, wheezing, and coughing day and night, and no one can get any rest. Hoping for some sleep, a girl named Fiona finally drums up the courage to visit the castle and find out what’s ailing its noble resident. When she arrives, she discovers that the Baron Von Sneeze is the only human around, and that he’s convinced his itchy eyes and runny nose are incurable. But as Fiona walks through the many rooms amid the baron’s hundreds of cats, she has a suspicion just what (or who) might have him feeling so unwell, and she has the perfect solution! Mark Fearing’s satisfying tale about lending a helping hand will have little listeners joining in a chorus of “ahhhh-chooo!”

The Barn by Leah H. Rogers & illustrated by Barry Root

My thoughts: 
I am so in love with this sweet book. Told in the first person, The Barn tells his story of beginning 100 years ago with many hands building him. How he cares for the cows, horses, chickens, and other animals. How he shelters them, and provides a safe, comfortable place for them.

How the animals are secure inside the barn and how this goes on day in and day out. Shelter. Care. Home. Security. Protection.

The repetitive type storytelling will engage and charm young listeners and young readers alike. Parents and grandparents will enjoy reading this book to boys and girls helping them discover a bit of agricultural life.

About the book: A sweet, spare debut offers a barn’s-eye view of life on a farm, illustrated with grace and gentleness by picture-book veteran Barry Root.
I am a barn. All are safe within my walls.
One hundred years ago, many hands raised a red-cedar barn. Now the barn stands tall, smelling of freshly cut hay and dusty horses. As the animals wake and wander through its weathered doors, the barn watches the day unfold. Chickens peck, cows shoo flies with swishing tails, swallows fly in and out, and a cat crouches in the grass to hunt for dinner. When peepers start their evening song and the animals settle in their bedding again—the horses in their stalls, the cows in their pen, the swallows in their nests—the barn settles, too, until morning, when it gets to live the day all over again. Written by a debut author and narrated by the barnyard’s serene sentinel, this lyrical and beautifully illustrated introduction to farm life is also a gentle way to wind down to bedtime.

2 Winners: 4 Books Each
January 6 to February 3 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
NO P.O. Boxes
Canadian winners must provide a phone number
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate reviews. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Elinor: A Riveting Story Based on the Lost Colony of Roanoke (Daughters of the Lost Colony) by Shannon McNear

My thoughts:  As a lifetime resident of North Carolina having lived on the coast of that grand old state, I was intrigued at the opportunity to read a story about the Lost Colony. Long a source of mystery unique to North Carolina, the assumptions and speculations about what those early people endured and what happened to them has been woefully missing facts to flesh out their history.  Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

The reality is, we simply don't know. But the possibilities of hostile peoples completely eradicating those early settlers as well as the possibility of assimilation into the culture and life of the native people's lives is also a daring possibility. 

The settlers had a desire to bring the natives to personal relationship with Christ and to a belief in the "Creator God." I truly like that the quotes were from the Great Bible of 1539. 

Use of words unique to the English language of the period and words the natives spoke (as well as the tribal names and places), lent credibility to the storyline. It is harder to read the story with these interposed yet the value of their inclusion is certainly worthwhile. 

The book's title is the name of the leading female character in the story. She is also the mother of the first child born to English settlers in the "New World" - Virginia Dare. I enjoyed reading about how these men and women stepped foot onto the shores of the new world. Because I am a long time North Carolina resident, I could vividly imagine their feet sinking into the sand of the dunes, the scrub oaks they found near the shore line, the sound (waters between ocean, shore, and mainland). I could feel the ocean breeze and smell the salt in the air just as the characters experienced. It is all distinct and they experienced it all. I could also vividly see the hurricanes that these settlers experienced that tore apart what little they had.

I really enjoyed reading Elinor and her experiences as a settler in what we today know of as "The Lost Colony." Real life characters are fleshed out - Elinor Dare, her husband Ananias Dare, her father John White, and her new born daughter, Virginia Dare. 

Their dealings with Sir Walter Raleigh for funds and permission from the Queen for ships to sail to the new world and provisions provides a glimpse into the World history of the time. The unscrupulous sea captains actions as it affects the colonists tell of the duplicity of the times.

Does this book tell us what happened to the Lost Colony? No, because it is simply an unknown part of history. But these were real people, real places, and this is based on what history we do know and understand.

About the book: Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .

The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.