The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy is the second book in the Serendipity and Secrets series from Erica Vetsch, and this book was just as enjoyable as the first. I can’t wait to preorder and read the third book. This story definitely had more of a flair of danger, espionage, and suspense. Y’all, Marcus was one of those swoony heroes for me, and maybe it’s just that I have a thing for lawmen type characters, but I really think it is just because he is such versatile and confident character. The poor guy is a bit delusional, too, with flaws that make him real but still admirable. I love watching him grow beyond the great spy he already was into a more rounded man and husband. Charlotte was strong and someone I could look up to. I spent a good portion of the book cheering when she did something that showed her heart or showed her growing confidence. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but the complexity of the story was something I just drool over. Can I say I want to write like her when I grow up? LOL It was definitely a book I will read over and over again.

I highly recommend this book to readers of the Regency era, marriages of convenience, and complex plots mixed with danger and intrigue.


Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, 1814

Plot Overview:

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?

What I loved: The spy theme just really satisfied my need for action and intrigue. And I love how the poor Duke’s expectation that everything could stay in its box was brought to reality.

Favorite Character and Why: I loved both Marcus and Charlotte, for different reasons than Evan and Diana, but Aunt Dolly really tickled me. I loved her heart and the way she inserted herself into both Marcus’s and Charlotte’s lives.

Rating and Why: Five Stars. This is a series I will reread over and over. First The Lost Lieutenant and now The Gentleman Spy. Both books scratched my itch for romance AND danger.

Amazon.com       Baker Bookhouse        Barnes and Noble        Book Depository      Christianbook.com

The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch

The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch

The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch

Fans of Regency and Marriage of Convenience stories will be delighted by this tale of a hero — who can’t remember the event that made him a hero — and a woman with her own secrets united by the Prince Regent’s wishes. I have been eyeing this book for months but other reading commitments kept it sitting on my TBR pile. I have finally settled into a routine of evening reading, and this book was my first pick.

Guys, I really enjoyed this one even more than I expected, and I had high expectations. I loved the mystery, the complex connections, and oh my goodness, the relationship development between Evan and Diana. They both had so much to learn in those early days, and Erica Vetsch handled it so well. This was the type of story that shows marriage as it can really be, not all rainbows and butterflies. Watching these two learn each other’s strengths and to play off of them was so heart-warming. I loved this story so much, I went ahead and bought the second book and read it as soon as it arrived in the mail. (So guess which one will come as my next review. Tee hee hee.)

I highly recommend this book to readers of the Regency era, marriages of convenience, and complex plots mixed with danger and intrigue.


Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, 1813

Plot Overview:

He’s doing what he can to save the Prince Regent’s life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero–he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn’t think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn’t have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there’s something he can’t quite remember. It’s important, dangerous–and if he doesn’t recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone’s very life.

What I loved: The relationship development between Evan and Diana is so fascinating. I love the push and pull to learn to trust each other with their darkest secrets. It was probably one of the best romances I have read to really depict those struggles realistically and in a way that also makes you fall in love with the characters.

Favorite Character and Why: I have to say I really loved Evan and Diana equally. In fact, they almost seem one character–just like any husband and wife are one in Christ–and it wasn’t because they seemed the character. They just belong together so well that I can’t separate them in my head as liking one more than the other.

Rating and Why: Five Stars. This is a story I will reread over and over. If it isn’t obvious yet, this is a story I will be gushing over for a while.

Amazon.com       Baker Bookhouse        Barnes and Noble        Book Depository      Christianbook.com

Am I Done Yet? – Guest Post by Erica Vetsch

WritingFromTheTrenchesCover

I am so incredibly blessed to have Erica Vetsch as a guest today to whet your appetite for a wonderful writing resource written by her and nine other award-winning authors.  You won’t want to miss Writing from the Trenches or Erica’s answer to the question, Am I done yet?

And since I haven’t done a giveaway in a couple months (sorry, moving has interrupted life), check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end.

 


Am I Done Yet?

Guest post by Erica Vetsch

In a recent edition of Writer’s Digest, I read an article about Writer’s Block, and what causes it. The author posed the theory that there are three basic causes of Writer’s Block, and they are all related to fear.fear

Fear of Failure.

Fear of Success.

Perfectionism. (Fear of not getting it perfect.)

Most writer’s have faced these fears on more than one occasion, but today, I’d like to address the third fear, perfectionism.

When I’m painting a room, I know when I start and when I’m done. When I’m mopping the floor, I know when I’ve reached the end of the chore. When I run a marathon (Okay, who am I kidding, I don’t run.) but if I did, you can be certain I would know where that finish line was so I could stop.

We can sit, staring at the blinking cursor on the blank page, too afraid to put down a word because we know in our hearts it won’t be the PERFECT word. But here’s the thing.

You can’t edit a blank page.

Give yourself permission to write a bad first line, bad first page, bad first chapter, bad first draft. Anything can be improved upon by editing, and if you’re aiming to be a professional writer, editing is a MUST. Nothing is best-written the first time around. So just write. I’ve been known to type in “WRITE THE BEST FIRST LINE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND” at the top of the first chapter, just so I can get over that hurdle and get into the story without worrying about crafting the perfect opening line before I even know my characters and story that well. Just write, not searching for perfection, but searching for your story.

Eventually, you will type the words “The End.” That’s when a different type of work begins. The editing. The polishing. The tweaking.

 

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And because writing is a unique art form where the possibilities are endless, you can tweak and polish and edit forever in the search for perfection.

So, how can you know when enough is enough, how can you know when you’re done? Here are a few guidelines:

  1. When your deadline arrives. There’s nothing like a ticking clock to let you know when it’s time to hit send on that manuscript.
  2. When you find yourself changing the manuscript but not improving it. When you change the heroine’s off-white shoes to ecru, beige, sandstone, ivory, winter white, taupe, etc. You’re not improving the manuscript, you’re just changing words here and there, a process that you can go through forever.
  3. When you’ve read and reread it so many times, it all sounds like dreck and you’re sure it’s awful.

The search for perfection is an illusion when it comes to fiction. Because fiction is art, because it is a creative thing, and because perfection is in the eye of the beholder. We can obsess and fixate and drive ourselves crazy searching for an impossible measure of perfection, dampening our enthusiasm for the project and sucking the joy out of being a writer.

When your deadline arrives. Hit Send! When you’re merely swapping words around and making changes that don’t improve the manuscript, call it done! When you have read and reread to the point of numbing your mind, stop!

TheEnd

Perfection is impossible, but excellence is not. Write your story, edit it to the best of your ability, send it out into the world…and then get to work on the next story in your heart.

And to help you on your way with that next great American novel, I’ve teamed up with some other writers to share our years of experience. Pick up your copy of Writing From The Trenches: Tips & Techniques From Ten Award-Winning Authors. Here’s a blurb:

TEN-HUT! Gear up for your writing with tried-and-true tips from the trenches. Ten award-winning authors share invaluable tips and secrets they’ve gleaned the hard way, offering a broad range of insights and opinions on the best way to tackle subjects such as the following:

WritingfromtheTrenchesFrontFinalPlotting Techniques
Research
Characterization
Villains We Love to Hate
Dynamic Dialogue
Sigh-Worthy Heroes
The Right Heroine for the Job
Hooking Your Reader in the First Chapter
Scene Endings to Lead Your Readers On
Creating a Movie Set
Making your Readers Cry
Deep POV
Copyediting your Manuscript
Indie Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing
Marketing for Those Who Hate Marketing

At last … a writer’s tool that provides the experience and expertise of ten authors who’ve been on the front lines of publishing and lived to teach about it: Connie Almony, Lynnette Bonner, Hallee Bridgeman, Louise Gouge, Michelle Griep, Julie Lessman, Elizabeth Ludwig, Ane Mulligan, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch.

Writing from the Trenches is available for e-book purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

EricaVetschBest-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!


 

Writing from the Trenches Giveaway

Now here is your chance to win an e-copy of Writing in the Trenches. For your chance to win, you must do both of the following:

1. Leave a comment with a writing craft questions or a question about the writing process.  (In 2019, I am hoping to have a monthly post that will help writer’s on their journey and readers to have a glimpse into the writing world.)

2. Enter using the Rafflecopter link below.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Giveaway opens 9/18/2018 at 12:01AM (EST) and ends 9/24/2018 11:59PM (EST). Winner will be notified by email and on the next blog post.

*Legal Jargon: No Purchase is necessary. This contest is open to all readers in the world, 18 years and older who are legally allowed to participate in such a giveaway as allowed by their local laws. The Write Call does not exchange prizes for reviews. Reviews are appreciated, but not required.*

First Love Forever Romance Collection

FirstLoveForever

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Stories by: Erica Vetsch, Susanne Dietze, Cynthia Hickey, Marcia Gruver, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Historical Romance, 1865-1910

Plot Overview: There are nine stories of first loves being reunited and finding forever love together.

A first love is never easily forgotten…
and coming face to face with that person again can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.”

In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. A neighbor returns from law school. An heiress seeks a quick marriage. A soldier’s homecoming is painful. A family needs help. A prodigal son returns. A rogue aeronaut drops from the sky. A runaway bridegroom comes home. A letter for aid is sent. A doctor needs a nurse. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space?

– Blurb from Amazon

What I loved: I particularly loved Heartfelt EchoesLighter than Air, and After the Ball. Each story had its own merit, and who doesn’t love with those first crushes become long-lasting relationships that hold through the test of time.

Favorite Character: Like in my interview with Jennifer Uhlarik, I really loved Travis and Millie. The obstacles they overcome and the relationship they share makes my heart swoon.

Who would like this:  Anyone who likes quick historical romance reads. Each story took me a little over an hour to read, which made the weeks when I didn’t have time for a full-on book at least bearable.

Rating and Why: I gave this a three-and-a-half star rating because while I did really enjoy several of the stories, there were also two that I really just did not enjoy at all. And in a rare exception, I completely skimmed one and never read the whole story. With all collections, you have a mix of writing styles and skill levels, but this one had more than I am accustomed to as far as did not appeal to me.  Reading is completely subjective so you may disagree once you dive in. I do still recommend it, if only for the few mentioned in What I Love.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher/author. I was in no way required to leave a review, and the above review is my honest opinion.

Winner of the giveaway from Jennifer Uhlarik’s interview is: Cassandra Darensbourg Check your email for a notice from me and if you do not see something, check your spam folder. Thank you so much for participating.

Join the discussion: What makes a novella so enticing you can’t put it down?

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers

SevenBridesForSevenTexasRangers

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers Romance Collection

Stories by: Erica Vetsch, Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, and Kathleen Y’Barbo

5star

 

I will admit, I have been waiting on pins and needles to read this collection of novellas. I absolutely LOVED the first collection, Seven Brides for Seven Texans, which I have just realized I did not review and will have to go back and do!

Collections always take me longer to read than just a normal book, just because it is broken up in to separate stories, but this one took me way less time than normal. Why? Because I thoroughly enjoyed how connected the stories were. I won’t dive into the details until below, but you really, really need to check out this collection.

 

Genre: Historical Romance, Texas Rangers, 1886

Plot Overview: A whole company of Texas Rangers is stationed in Hartville to round up and put an end to the notorious Markham Gang. Ruthless and far-reaching, this gang is no easy task to round up. Danger and trouble are guaranteed, but who would have guessed love?

What I loved: My favorite part of this type of collections is the deep connection between each story. Instead of seven completely different stories, it feels like one overarching story when you get a peek at each swoon-worthy hero. And who doesn’t swoon over men whose duty in life is to protect and serve? Each hero is depicted with his own quirks and individual personality, but they all have the common thread of a commitment that goes beyond the standard citizen.

I also LOVED how this book was set in the same place as Seven Brides for Seven Texans. Characters from past books reappeared and you got to see bits and pieces of the Hart brothers all over again. Books that connect and series that connect in this way are my absolute favorite.

Favorite Story: While all seven stories are good, my absolute favorite was The Countess and the Cowboy by Kathleen Y’Barbo. (And actually I have changed this at least twice, so you know the stories are good.) I loved how the heroine was a determined spitfire and not one to just standby… which also leads to heaps of trouble. Ezra is a great hero with a soft heart.

Who would like this: Anyone who loves historical stories with strong heroes, heroes whose profession is a lawman, heroines who range from stubborn to docile, and dangerous situations that bring couples together. Those who especially like connected storylines will love this.

Rating and Why: I give this story 5 stars. If you haven’t figured it out, the connectedness of all the stories really bumps the rating up. However, the action, dialogue, and characters are all excellent. Some stories are better than others, but I can’t think of one that I did not enjoy, and usually, in a collection, there is one that I am meh on.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this story on #netgalley through the publisher for review purposes. The opinions above are completely my own and not influenced in any way.

Join the Discussion: If you have read this collection, which Texas Ranger was your favorite? If you have not read it, what makes about a Texas Ranger makes you swoon? 

Funny add in… Every time I write Texas Ranger the theme song of Walker, Texas Ranger plays through my head. Who doesn’t love Chuck Norris?

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